New Medicine have clearly brushed up on their hard rock history, and Race You to the Bottom -- the band’s hyper-swaggering debut -- covers every one of the genre’s bases. It’s got the hard-hitting anthems, fueled by riffage and guitar distortion. It’s got the ballads, where minor-key arpeggios meet ruminations on heartbreak and depression. It’s got the tough-guy misogyny (“Laid”), the occasional detour into Beastie Boys-styled rap-rock (“Race You to the Bottom”), and a wide panel of producers to fine-tune each song, from emo-pop architects like S*A*M & Sluggo to R&B veteran Steve Hodge. The result is a polished record that attempts to be everything to everybody, but winds up feeling a bit forced.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey