’68 is Josh Scogin (of The Chariot and Norma Jean) with accompanying percussion by Michael McClellan. The pair, under Scogin’s creative mind, has given us three albums over the past decade, the last of which (Give One Take One, the first without McClellan) came out in 2021.
But we’re not here to talk about that. Today, to continue my methodical coverage of ALL records in my collection, we’re going back to the beginning. We’re going back to In Humor and Sadness from 2014.
Specifically, the original pressing.
Limited Original Pressing on Clear Vinyl
In Humor and Sadness was originally released July 8, 2014, though it appears the first vinyl pressings (there were three) came in October. This version, on clear wax, was the most limited at just 250. Two others came with 500 each followed by a second series of pressings that December totaling another 1,000 copies between the three.
Let’s take a look inside:
While all of the 2014 limited pressings have long been sold out, ’68 did give the album a handful of reissues in 2020 and 2021. Even then, it appears only 800 copies exist of those variants.
In Humor or Sadness
About the recording process for In Humor or Sadness, The Line of Best Fit writes:
Scogin booked studio time for ‘68 before he even had created the project. While there, songs were written in the studio and then tracked by McClellan the dame day. Mistakes made during the recording process (like a broken amp) were kept because they “felt human.” With ‘68, Scogin’s goal is to capture the just-go-with-it feel of a live setting.The Line of Best Fit
The album, like much of what you’ll find by Scogin, is extremely loud and utterly unhinged. Packed with a creative noise that jumps around chaotically, ’68 gave us an album with one letter song titles that, when formed into a two-word sentence read REGRET NOT. (period included).
That cohesiveness flows mercilessly into the album.
Here’s the first song off the album, “Track 1 R”
Often dubbed as hardcore, and sometimes noise rock, ’68 isn’t beyond straying from those terms. “Track 5 E” steps back a bit with something more melodic and hook-filled. Here, Scogin favors singing as opposed to screaming, yet the song has no less emotion.
The pinnacle, in my opinion, is “Track 7 N” thanks to a steady emotional build up, filled with pent up angst. You can literally feel the anxiety, the hurt, and rage welling up and getting ready to explode at the slightest hint of fracture.
In it Scogin sings:
It’s fair enough to say that I am never walking back.Lyrics from “Track 7” by ’68 off In Humor and Sadness
Never going out.
Never shaking hands with lifelessness.
But I walk alone with you by my side.
You’ve given me a thousand tries.
There’s pain and longing in the lyrics that is undeniable, and it infiltrates the sounds of ’68 at every corner. It’s inherent in Scogin’s work and indicative of what you can expect throughout In Humor and Sadness.
Sure the hardcore and noise rock labels can be a turnoff to some, and if you’re prone to avoid such things ’68 might not be for you. But if you go in with an open mind, you’ll likely find the creativity and emotional powerhouse within this album quite astonishing.