By Natali Blanco
A few months back, local hip-hop artist Buck Bowen released an EP that gave a small preview of his new direction in music. Appropriately titled “Neuterection,” the EP made promises of a more insightful, inquisitive Bowen that was stepping away from his notorious comedic style.
Thus, this month at the Slowdown, Bowen will fulfill those promises and release the full-length testament to his new style, titled “Truth Before Comfort.”
Bowen made it clear that “Truth Before Comfort” was intended to promote religious free-thinking and expose areas of religion that are typically ignored.
“It’s two avenues really. One is critical thinking, skepticism, science, and the other one is motivation. Nowadays, I want to gain the respect of my intellectual heroes,” Bowen said in 2012. “Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, these sorts of people that are promoting science, critical thinking and reason.”
Essentially, the album is an attempt to analyze the Bible and highlight major contradictions within it. Bowen references countless Bible entries that justify genocide, torture and immorality. He compares one scripture to another, citing numerous inconsistencies.
Though mostly a serious album, he managed to incorporate some of his light-hearted humor throughout. The track “The Dragon in My Garage” compares belief in God to belief in invisible dragons, conveying an intense message while drawing a comical scenario of spreading flour on the floor to catch invisible dragon footprints.
His song “The Ten Cracked Commandments” goes through the different versions of the Ten Commandments and gives a few examples from the Bible where these were broken. Bowen then creates his own list of revised commandments, which include banning the mistreatment of children, genocide and condemning others based on sexual orientation.
Although the album incorporates a little too much bias, ultimately it succeeds in opening up topics for discussion. No matter one’s religious beliefs, “Truth Before Comfort” provides an interesting perspective.
The CD release party will be Sep. 13th at the Slowdown. Bowen will be performing with Kevin Pike, John Kotchian, The Rattlesnake Boys, Talking Mountain’s Weird Howl and comedian Jimmy Beans.