Review of Born In June’s Debut, “Ill Gotten Gains”

Born In June is:

Bryan Rock – Drums
Cayse Ramirez – Guitar
Gene Ramirez – Guitar
Harvey Hampton – Vocals
Nick Terrell – Bass Guitar

Born In June grabbed my attention during the Death Angel show that I covered a couple of months back (Show Review) at the 1904 Music Hall here in Jacksonville. This was the third live show that the band had played since their commencement as an official band. As stated in the show review, I was blown away by their poised stage presence and crisp playing abilities. Very impressive for a group that had only been playing together for a little over six months. Since then, the band has played many shows in and around Jacksonville with a variety of other talented locals and released their debut EP entitled Ill Gotten Gains that was independently released on January 25, 2017. As promised, here are my impressions of this up and coming band’s first release…

Not to be mistaken with the, now defunct Jakarta, Indonesian Melodic Punk band by the same name from the early 2010’s (don’t sweat it, I have not heard of them either…), THIS Born In June are the “[f]ive dudes hailing from Jacksonville, FL looking to bring our unique blend of southern rock meets metal tinged with lyrical “nerdiness” to the masses!!!”. Siting the influences of Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Down and Pantera, Born In June do, in fact ride a fine line between Hard, Southern Rock and Metal but fall more on the vintage Rock side of the fence more often than not. I would imagine that fans of 70s and 80s Hard Rock like Bad Company, Boston, Van Halen and Molly Hatchet would be equally entertained by Born In June as would be fans of any Modern Metal fan of bands like their influences and any of their contemporaries, leaving the band a huge “in” with a variety of fans. Music aside, their live shows will impress any music fan, genre be damned. Way too much fun, and bring their signature brand of music hot and heavy to your ear drums with an admitted sense of levity, all too often lacking on the louder side of the musical scale. If you live anywhere near where they land, theirs is a must-see concert! Before you head out though, be sure to check out their new album Ill Gotten Gains to get a taste of what you are in for. Kicking things off with a quote from Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, “One Last Time” is ejected into a retro-cool groove of catchy, growling guitar riffage and blistering drums reminiscent of early iterations of Hard Rock from the 70s. Hampton’s vocals come through with a throaty and unique tone, be they sung cleanly or screamed, anthem style; nowhere near the harsh, NuMetal screams we have become accustomed to, mind you. Not their thing and would not fit anyway. Next up, “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” takes on the guise of early 70s Psych. Nicely balanced and tightly played, a tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic theme blasts forward to guarantee a huge head-bobbing smile to anyone giving the track more than a cursory listen. Definitely diggin’ what they are feeding us so far. Taking a heavier stance, “Legendary Defender” defines their statement of “nerdiness” while keeping up the trademarked schtick we are growing to love as we explore the album. Heavily distorted bass and another killer drum line define the song’s direction while guitar work and vocals take care of picking up the otherwise dark tone. Very interesting and cagey technique not often heard in any modern music. Too early to be the final song (bite me, this is a four song EP! I want more too!), “Necklace Made of Rope” finishes things up. From behind the curtain, sludgey-slow, Doomish guitar eventually hit full force as the rest of the band join in stride. This track will quickly attract the attention of the die-hard Metal fan as it is the most oppressive and harsh song on the album while still remaining catchy enough not to chase off those of milder tastes. Have to love the range!

Alright. There you have it. Do I like it? Hell yes! What’s my favorite track? Probably “Legendary Defender”. Can’t help but smile and is undeniably addictive as hell! My suggestion? Check it out below and make your own determination. If you dig it, please buy it. It is set at the low, low price of “name your own”, so you really can’t go wrong. I paid the going rate of a buck and a quarter a song in support of a future for Born In June. As always: Support Local, no matter where “local” is!

Tracklist for Ill Gotten Gains:

One Last Time (A.U.D)”

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Legendary Defender

Necklace Made of Rope

More on Born In June can be found on Facebook Bandcamp ReverbNation Soundcloud YouTube

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About Odyssey

I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -

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