Like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in their 2008 hit movie, “Step Brothers,” Bryan Rucker and Ryan Bars formed a fierce family bond, united by music. While Ferrell and Reilly stumbled and fumbled their way through the comical “Boats And Hoes” video, Rucker and Bars, aka The Norm, lay down righteous rhymes and glorious grooves on their new single, “Delirious.” Their April 27th single release comes on the heels of The Norm winning the Miller Lite-sponsored “Road To Roo” competition. As a result, the Athens, GA “Hip-rock” duo will be performing at the Bonaroo Music Festival this summer.
With a pedigree that includes Rucker’s father having played with the likes of The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash, and Bars having been an audio engineer for a-list producers like Supa Dups, Ben Billions, and Lou Diaz, The Norm have absorbed these influences and poured them into a tasty blend of hip-hop, rock and pop, “Hip-Rock.” The Norm take a dual-frontman approach to their music, and it seems to have paid off for them already, having won Artist of the Year at the 2017 Flagpole Music Awards. They’ve opened shows for veterans like 311, Arrested Development, Mayday, Moon Taxi, and others. They’ve also had 2 of their tracks wind up on TLC reality-based shows, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Seven Little Johnstons.”
Over a sparse musical bed and a ticking clock, “Delirious” kicks off with paranoid, insomnia-riddled lyrics delivered in a rhythmic pattern, that has the listener feeling the angst and building anger of the artist. This feeling finally explodes into a catchy and anthemic chorus, sung over distorted guitar riffs and aided by harmony vocals to drive the delivery home. The second verse takes us back to a dreamy, sleep-like state, brilliantly showcasing the emotions of the lyrics. Again, the 2nd half of the verse grows like a tidal wave, riding high with aggravation, until, once again, we are soaring into a melodic euphoria on the chorus.
The lyrical genius of The Norm is obvious throughout the track, but my favorite part is the rhyming of “skeleton,” “gelatin,” “Gentleman” and “Thomas Edison…” I love it! Probably the single most effective and outstanding piece of “Delirious” is the break after the 2nd chorus where the previous rhymes take place. The rhythmic flow of the delivery starts slow, then builds, until the words are blistering by you, like a 90 mile per hour fastball. At the end of that break, we explode back into the chorus. Great songwriting here. Solid and steady drums and guitars are present and accommodating but the real stars of the show are Rucker and Bars’ vocals. If the crowd at Bonnaroo isn’t stagediving by the end of “Delirious,” they’d better bring out the crash carts and check for pulses.