The New Normal (album)

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The New Normal
CogTheNewNormal.jpg
Studio album by Cog
Released April 12, 2005
Recorded September 20 – November 5, 2004
Genre Progressive rock
Length 73:06
Label Difrnt Music
MGM Distribution
Producer Sylvia Massy and Cog
Cog chronology
Open Up
(2003)Open Up2003
The New Normal
(2005)
Sharing Space
(2008)Sharing Space2008
Singles from The New Normal
  1. "Real Life"
    Released: February 2005
  2. "My Enemy"
    Released: March 2005
  3. "Run"
    Released: August 2005
  4. "Resonate"
    Released: March 2006

The New Normal is the first studio album by Australian rock band Cog, released on April 12, 2005 by Difrnt Music. The album was produced in Weed, California by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of a Down, Spiderbait). The New Normal was made the album of the week on Triple J, and nominated for the 2005 J Award. The album peaked at number 19 on the Australian Recording Industry Association album chart.

Background[edit]

The album name was formulated in the wake of the September 11 attacks, front man Flynn Gower explained that the name was derived from a social commentator in the United States that was describing "what people once considered ‘normal’ in terms of lifestyle. Things had changed quite drastically in a short period of time. They were calling the kind of social and political environment in which we now lived, ‘the new normal’”.

In September 2004 Cog met with Sylvia Massy in Weed, California to begin recording for the album.[1] The album was recorded between September, 2004 and October, 2004 at Radiostar Studios, a retired 1930s art deco theater that, according to the band, helped them get into a "different head space" for recording.[2]

"Real Life", "My Enemy", "Run" and "Resonate" were released as radio singles in February, March and August 2005 as well as March 2006, respectively.[3] "Real Life" was first released as a demo in late 2003, as part of Big Day Out's 2004 compilation. It was also the first song from the album to debut on the radio. The single itself was distributed to radio stations, street team members, as well as directly to some attendees of the Big Day Out '04 launch ceremony in Sydney, Australia at Utopia Records on April 9, 2005.[4] "My Enemy" was included in the Triple J Hottest 100: Volume 13 compilation album released in March, 2006[5] while "Run" was later featured in Triple J Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time released in July, 2011.[6]

Lyrics and themes[edit]

Lyrically the album focuses heavily to articulate themes of new world globalization in conjunction with government corruption and control. Flynn Gower described the lyrics as " recurring ideas of anger, alienation, isolation, dissension, disillusionment and disempowerment" as well as the feeling of exclusion from "the decision-making process" on both the local and national level. He went on to state that the album conveys "universal themes" that would express the feelings of Australians and people across the world who feel they need to "take the power back".[7]

Artwork[edit]

Various items of "modern protest" were featured within the panels of the digipack release including: a brick, lit torch, gas mask, cell phone, laptop and Molotov cocktail. The gas mask and Molotov cocktail included specific descriptions of the peripherals followed by notes on how they could be used as "identity concealment devices" and for "guerilla warfare", respectively. Commenting on the protest theme, art director Daniel Parkinson stated "we decided on a clean stark look, using Times New Roman Font like a newspaper" in addition to "some strange 'anomaly' objects" portrayed as black balls floating above the desert floor.[8] Furthermore, the front cover features an electric megaphone in accordance to the "modern protest" theme as well as "cog the new normal" in Braille.[9] Flynn Gower stated the "starkness of the message" was "very clear and easy to decipher."[7]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[10]
Oz Music Project 4/5[11]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[12]
Ultimate Guitar 9.9/10[13]

The New Normal was mostly well received and gained generally positive reviews, but was not without its criticisms. Jody Macgregor of AllMusic said "Flynn Gower...sings with enough genuineness and passion to deliver political songs...without sounding trite." She described some of the rhymes as "a touch too obvious" while "[pushing] a simplistic melody...longer than it deserves", but assures "enough unexpected turns and blistering riffs" to conclude that "Cog are at their best concocting these apocalyptic epics".[10]

The album entered the ARIA Charts on April 24, 2005, peaked at #19 and remained on the chart for three weeks.[14] Moreover, the album was described by Tripe J radio as "Australian heavy music fans have been holding out for" as well as "a massive sound, almost unbelievable for that of a three piece band." In 2005 the album was nominated for the J Award by Triple J.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, composed and performed by Cog.

No. Title Length
1. "Real Life" 5:56
2. "Anarchy OK" 6:22
3. "Silence Is Violence" 7:39
4. "Resonate" 4:31
5. "The Spine" 7:11
6. "My Enemy" 3:33
7. "Run" 5:08
8. "The River Song" 7:39
9. "Charades" 3:59
10. "Doors (Now and Then My Life Feels Like It's Going Nowhere)" 10:14
11. "Naming the Elephant" 10:46
Total length: 73:06

Chart history[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[15] 19

Personnel[edit]

Cog
Production
  • Cog – producer, album design
  • Sylvia Massy – producer, mixing
  • Rich Veltrop – co-producer, engineer, mixing
  • Kale Holmes – mixing
  • Cecil Gregory – studio assistant
  • Seabrian Arata – ProTools editor
  • Tom Baker – mastering
  • Sean Boucher – recording & engineering (pre-production)
  • Daniel Parkinson – art direction, graphic design, photography
  • Andrzej Liguz – group photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cog The New Normal". abc.net.au. April 8, 2005. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "The J Award - Nominated Albums. The New Normal/ Cog". abc.net.au. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ "COG". australian-charts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Song: Real Life". cse.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ "COG - MY ENEMY (SONG)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ "COG - RUN (SONG)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Biography: The New Normal…". cog.com.au. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ Parkinson, Daniel (May 7, 2014). "Cog - The New Normal". behance.net. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ "The New Normal". cse.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Macgregor, Jody. "Cog The New Normal". allmusic.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ B, Steph. "COG The New Normal difrnt Music". ozmusicproject.net. Archived from the original on August 21, 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ D, Jake (July 23, 2005). "Cog The New Normal". sputnikmusic.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  13. ^ "The New Normal Review". ultimate-guitar.com. May 25, 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ "The New Normal". acharts.co. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Cog – The New Normal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 06 April 2012.