Dayton band grows up with new album

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The band talks about their new album.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Wisdom and experience may change the focus of songwriting, but it doesn't have to change the level of passion the musician has. That's where Dayton's Bribing Senators find themselves now in life and on their first full-length CD, Songs For A Disappearing Class. So last year, the band — then a trio — went into Patrick Himes' Reel Love Recording Studios to record the album, but Bruce Hull (bass/vocals), Justin Roseberry (guitar/vocals) and Dave Pope (drums) were intent on taking their time in crafting it.

“We didn’t want to rush anything or put out anything we weren’t absolutely happy with. That’s why we took a year to record it. We wanted to make sure everything was exactly what we wanted. We didn’t want to compromise anything,” Roseberry said.

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They found the right man for the job in Himes, who engineered the sessions and put the band through their paces to get the most out of them.

“He’ll make you do stuff more times than you think you need to do it, but he’ll fool you about it. But what he’s really doing is getting more takes he really likes,” Hull said.

“We came into this thinking our vocals might not be good enough to not use Auto-Tune. But Patrick was really able to coach us into harmonies that work,” Roseberry added.

The band had such a great rapport with Himes, they made him a full-fledged member of the group on guitar.

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Bribing Senators: (from left) Justin Roseberry, Dave Pope, Bruce Hull and Patrick Himes

Bribing Senators: (from left) Justin Roseberry, Dave Pope, Bruce Hull and Patrick Himes

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Bribing Senators: (from left) Justin Roseberry, Dave Pope, Bruce Hull and Patrick Himes


Songs For A Disappearing Class shows both how the band members have matured as songwriters and in their personal lives. According to Bribing Senators, they never just sit down to write songs. The ideas come when they come, and often result in Hull and Roseberry trading those ideas through cell phone messages. A majority of the subject matter on the 10-song album deals with things that happen to many of us on the other side of 30. 

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"Growing Up", a song salvaged from a previously unreleased EP and re-recorded, details Roseberry watching his daughter mature, while "Graduation Day" covers his struggle to balance professional life and quality time with his family.

“You make sacrifices to do better for your kids,” Hull said. “That’s what it’s about. That’s what rock and roll is — it’s from the heart. It’s personal. It’s got emotion, feeling and passion.”

"Life Without Fear" is Hull's lesson to himself to move forward and let go of things that hampered him in the past, while he pushes for more love and understanding in "War Torn World."

"Into Your Intuition" tugs at the heartstrings as a father tries to reassure his daughter through rough times.

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"Having not been a writer on the album, hearing them from an outsider's standpoint, most of the songs are situational to (being) blue-collar, middle class situations. It's about jobs. It's about family. It's about normal struggles that we all have," Himes said.


All the band’s previous fears of vocal ineptitude are soundly put to rest on this release. Brilliant harmonies delivered from someplace deep down grace the album from front to back. The classic American post-punk hooks make the album very accessible, and the production is slick, but not too slick.

Bribing Senators fans, old and new, will get their first chance to own a copy of Songs For A Disappearing Class on Friday, March 3 at Blind Bob's (with The New Old Fashioned and Lovely) and again on Saturday, March 11, at Oscar's Bar & Grill (with Move Home and The Blind Cavalry) in Vandalia. The band chose to have a CD release event at both venues because they consider both their "home", so to speak.

Pope says this document of his fellow band members’ lives has been every bit as entertaining to help create from inside the group as it is to listen outside of it.

“It’s about raising your daughters and finding your way in life. It kind of brings together where we are in life right now, growing up where we are in Dayton.”

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