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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Eaton Hard Bent Album Review Self Released on Eatin’ Records November 16, 2018 By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist Boston Rock Radio
Eaton Hard Bent Album Review Self Released on Eatin’ Records November 16, 2018 By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist Boston Rock Radio


Hard Bent Album Review

Self Released on Eatin’ Records

November 16, 2018

By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio



I’m going to be brutally honest on this one.  Heading out for a drive, I popped the CD by musician, engineer/producer, Brian Eaton, into my player and drove off. The first track was just music with political ramblings and I wasn’t liking it at all. We receive so much music, that if I can’t get past the first song, then I often move on to the next artist. Today, I was patient and waited for a song to kick in. Well, that did not happen and the first track was 4 minutes of those ramblings, like listening to the old radios back during the war. However, if you look at this album like a storybook, as it goes, it makes sense. I’ll get into the background more next to explain this.  I did listen to the rest of the tracks, or else I wouldn’t be writing this review now, would I, and I was pleasantly surprised.


Eaton is truly a DIY artist as he wrote, performed all the instruments, engineered, mixed, and produced this album himself over a year’s time. This album blends industrial, metal, alternative, acoustic rock, and soundtrack elements.  At times I was reminded of Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails and perhaps A Perfect Circle.


Eaton is probably known best for his alternative/industrial metal band, North, and some of this album was musically similar in nature. Hard Bent is a concept album that is about the Vietnam War and told through the eyes of a jaded combat medic so what I thought were just political ramblings were this medic’s thoughts. That being said, it’s extremely dark as it follows this medic through his grief and trauma decades later. “Bright Ambitious Lie” was the second track and the most industrial one on the album and I was starting to have more hope as I continued to listen. The fourth track “Defenseless” was by far my favorite, and there were two versions of it, one being the “Unarmed Version” that concludes the album. This song, although sad in nature, was beautifully done acoustically and I listened to it twice before moving on.  


Other song titles included, “Fixed and Dilated,” “Bullet Sponge,” and “PTSD.”  “Last Stand” begins with President Ronald Reagan's “ A Time For Choosing” speech from October 1964. As you can tell by the titles, this wasn’t an easy album to digest as it covered a subject matter that many of us wouldn’t want to relive. The lyrics are deep and meaningful.  Lyrics such as, “Is there anybody here/Is there anybody still around/All my friends are gone/and now they are all underground” will tear at your heart and mind. Hard Bent pays homage to all our veterans,” Eaton explains. “It is especially dedicated to those of foreign wars who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Never forget that freedom is not free!” Eaton is donating half of all music sales from the new album in the first six months to the top-rated Semper Fi Fund.


Lesson learned for me; you can’t always judge an album by the first track.  Eaton’s Hard Bent is actually a masterfully told story as if you were living the experience for yourself through the emotions of his songs. I applaud Brian for his vast talent. Take a listen for yourself, but you may want to have some tissues nearby, as some wounds may be opened.


Hard Bent will be released November 16, 2018 and available worldwide and I recommend you it.




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