Premiere: The 1 Class Dare You to Think in “How Real Men Look”

The 1 Class © 2018
The 1 Class’ shimmering single “How Real Men Look” is a provocative critique of superficiality, social conformity and ideological pressure in “modern” times.
RIYL: U2, The 1975LANYBad Suns

— —

The 1 Class certainly know how to spark a conversation: With explosive synths and pulsing rhythm, the band’s shimmering new single “How Real Men Look,” is a provocative critique of superficiality, social conformity and ideological pressure in “modern” times.

Mindsets have become a trend
in the things that we type,
in the the words that we bend
you see just what I want to see,
and only the man that want to be
life gets more fake everyday,
with all these hidden games that we have to play
Listen: “How Real Men Look” – The 1 Class

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “How Real Men Look,” the latest single from Chicago-based independent duo The 1 Class. The follow-up to the duo’s 2017 “Feel It” finds percussionist Jacob Dollaske and vocalist/guitarist Chris Holben exploring new avenues of emotion and imagery. “Feel It,” premiered by Atwood Magazine in November 2017, offered an “anthemic cry for deeper connection” through an ambient bed of reverb-swathed guitars.

The 1 Class maintain their evocative sound with ethereal, delay-driven guitars in their new release, but the topic of conversation is perhaps the more important element in “How Real Men Look.” Observing upsetting trends through the lens of society-set gender roles, the single challenges rigid mindsets, lamenting restrictive divisions and oppressive ideas that prevent individuals from living their personal freedoms.

The 1 Class - How Real Men Look

How Real Men Look – The 1 Class

backwards is the way that we live
chant we’re sorry, no intent to forgive
all of us striving for the top,
not a second to appreciate what we’ve got
governments steal freedom,
while the rest of us are free to feed’em
It’s really not so hard to be real
love what you do, do just what you feel
work to die, die to work
this generation don’t know how real men look

“The title, ‘How Real Men Look’ is more of a question than a statement,” the band says of their brand new release. “It speaks of many contradictions we often see in society. Are we working at our dream, or dreaming at work? We bend our truths to conform to the latest ideology as if our mindset is a form of fashion to change with each passing season. The song is a personal wake up call to stay true to your own values and dreams, as well as a reminder to slow down and ask the bigger questions; what is the goal of humanity, and how do we contribute to that goal as individuals?”

The 1 Class “Feel It” for Deeper Connection

:: premiere ::
It’s really not so hard to be real
love what you do, do just what you feel
work to die, die to work
this generation don’t know how real men look.
cant you see through our society?
of course not it’s a fog of hypocrisy
no point to this world that we live in
we continue to take all that we’re given
and if you ask me how we got here
good luck cause I can’t recall last year
spit game, I’m to blame, every man’s the same

With a reverb-pop sound that closely mirrors that of late-2000s U2 and Viva La Vida-era Coldplay, The 1 Class definitely know how to fill an empty room. However, the wall of sound-style production on their newest song ends up overpowering singer Holben’s voice, leaving us straining to hear his pointed, critical lyrics. Without the visual cues, its nearly impossible to fully understand him, and their song suffers: A re-mixing might allow “How Real Men Look” and its message to truly flourish and make the impact it could have. We would then really feel it when the band exclaim, “Can’t you see through our society? Of course not, it’s a fog of hypocrisy.”

In spite of this fix, The 1 Class do persevere. “How Real Men Look” envelops us in the band’s charismatic, uplifting aura, instilling a mellow urgency in listeners to take action – if only in their minds. Don’t miss this single, and stay tuned for more from one of Chicago’s up-and-coming acts.

— — — —

The 1 Class - How Real Men Look

Connect to The 1 Class on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
photo © Victoria Gay

:: Stream The 1 Class ::

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com