Pardon The Scars, a hard rock band from Pensacola, Florida, dropped a new single and video, “Purge”, recently, and it will be sure to make fans of this band happy and also generate new followers. This track is long-awaited, but will be only the beginning of more awesome music to come from this talented quartet. The official music video debuted live on The Sound 228 Wednesday, November 2nd, and the station has been playing the single exclusively since then leading up to the official release of the track on all platforms November 10th. The band also talked to Kevin Harris, Jared Seymour, Lisa Wills, and Matt James on The Sound live show, and some of the insight from the band included in this review was taken from that interview.
Members of Pardon The Scars include: James Tangman (vocals/guitar); Brian Bauman (lead guitar/backing vocals); Bryan Norris (drums); and Steven Godbey (bass/backing vocals). Pardon The Scars was formed from an existing band called Paracosm. There were many member changes over time, and the direction and sound of the music evolved, leading to a complete re-branding of the band. Three of the four band members have served in the military. James was part of the prestigious United States Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration/aerobatics squadron, Brian was an officer in the US Navy, and Steven was an Army airborne infantryman who served during the OIF/OEF conflicts.
Pardon The Scars has been sitting on “Purge” since June 2021. Why wait so long to release it? The band says so much time, effort and production went into this track, they wanted to do it justice and didn’t want to rush it. This song is very special to them – the lyrics and music are powerful. They also wanted to have other material ready to go to follow this song up so there would not be a big gap between releases.
“Purge” was mixed and mastered by Ken Lanyon Audio Engineering. Rob Perez of Paradigm Logic Studios assisted in vocal tracking sessions during the recording process. The video was directed by Nick Frollo. This song was a carry-over from Paracosm, and was stripped down and re-worked with the new band lineup. The music was written by the entire band, and Tangman did most of the lyric-writing. Overall, the song-writing process for Pardon The Scars is a team effort. It starts with an idea, the band gets together and works out the instrumentals, and the vocal melodies and lyrics are added. Sometimes the instrumentals will change based on the vocals, and the song evolves from there.
The theme behind “Purge” is definitely autobiographical, according to the band. They draw a lot of their inspiration from self-reflection. This song tells a story of how anxiety and fear can weight you down, and even manifest in “Shadow People”, as reflected in the lyrics “The shadows are dancing on the walls in the corner of my eye”. The Shadow People are representations of demons such as fear and anxiety come to life, and no matter how hard you fight, they won’t let you go. They feed on your fears and anxiety and become stronger than you. The song takes a turn when it’s decided that the demons must be overcome, and there is hope that things can get better. The lyrics in the bridge bring forth this idea: “Grant me serenity Give me the strength to compromise Shelter myself from my own lies Fight this war inside myself And purge these demons away forever”
“Purge” soars out of the gate with a killer guitar riff, and you know this is going to be a banger. I would describe the beat as thunderous. The tempo of the bridge is slower, and leads into vocals followed by a complex guitar solo by Tangman that is so good you almost don’t want it to end. The track closes on an energetic note with more intriguing guitar melodies. The combination of Tangman’s clean and hard vocals brings out the emotion of this song. In an interesting twist, the final vocal line as “Purge” fades out features Tangman’s fiancée, Casey, and his son, Finneas, along with a few of the band members, gathered around a microphone, giving the vocals more of a crowd feel. The band actually uses this vocal melody in their live performance as an engaging audience sing-a-long.
The video for “Purge” was filmed at Tangman’s home, using one of his older storage sheds and a field on the back of his property. They wanted to keep the overall concept open to interpretation, with dark and powerful visual undertones. The song paints a picture that is relatable to anyone – an inner struggle and battle against our own demons. The ring of fire is a symbol of a consuming force that beautifully paints the night sky, but is also very destructive if not contained and overcome.
Pardon The Scars plans to release several singles in the next year. Some of the songs have never been heard by fans before, and the band has been eager to release them in their current set list. There will also be more videos to accompany the singles.
Recently, Pardon The Scars had an awesome opportunity to play at Club LA in Destin, Florida with Kingdom Collapse, The Funeral Portrait, and Versus Me October 14th. Not surprisingly, that show earned the band a new group of fans, and there is no doubt the popularity of this band will continue to grow with future music releases and live shows. Upcoming shows include: Friday, November 11th, with Exformation and Orphic at Handlebar in Pensacola; Saturday, November 12th, with Transient and Faking Solace at The Hideaway Den in Mandeville, Louisiana (sponsored by Fuel The Funeral Entertainment); The Rockin’ Rumble at Alabama Music Box in Mobile Friday, November 18th; and A Night For Nolan event to celebrate the life of Nolan Neal and raise awareness for recovery Saturday, November 19th, in Jacksonville, Florida.