Album Review: The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset

The Julie RuinHit Reset from Brooklyn, NY

Rock/Dance Punk

Label: Hardly Art

The Julie Ruin

Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin releases their sophomore album “Hit Reset,” and its songs are fueled with bitterness, contempt, handclaps, and group chants. The dance-punk album also has elements of surf-rock, synth-pop, and even a tinge of funk/blues on the song, “Time Is Up.”

As mentioned previously, the entire album is exceptionally bitter. Throughout the album, Evergreen State College alum Kathleen Hanna sings and shouts rancorous lyrics like, “I don’t think you’re sorry at all,” and “Start a Kickstarter for your heart.”

The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

The instrumentation complements the lyrical tone throughout the album. Distorted and fuzzy guitars ring chaotically with aggressive strumming patterns, and synthesizers swell to musical climaxes in multiple songs. Drums and bass usually stay fairly consistent throughout songs letting the lyrics shine or letting the guitar and synthesizer parts be hectic in certain spots.

The album’s closer, “Calverton,” is a stark contrast from the tone set throughout the album; up until this point, we have heard aggressive screaming and songs soaked with that bitter attitude. Instrumentally, we have heard brash synthesizers, harsh guitars, and the bass and drums setting the groove for each of the songs; in “Roses More Than Water” we even hear some Monkees-esque organ tones. However, “Calverton” sets this all aside for a piano and some light, clean guitar tones in the latter part of the song. “You made me think I could fly,” Hanna closes the album.

“Hit Reset” is harsh, loud, and bitter album, but through all this, it manages to be extremely catchy and danceable. Each song has a groove that makes you want to bob your head and tap your foot.

Review by Luke Putvin