Review Summary: Violent Soho tries to bring back grunge, and at the rate they're going, they'll succeed.
The first time I heard Violent Soho was on the radio. The song was "Jesus Stole My Girlfriend" and I had to get it. Once I picked up the album for $7, I knew I got much more than I paid for. I noticed that all of the songs are around, if not exactly on the 3 minute mark. I also noticed, that every song has a bridge in it, no matter if helping the song or not.
Track 1. Here Be Dragons (3.75/5)
A solid opener and a great punk/riot song. This song's verses are controlled rock, but the chorus is just pure energy, screaming about teenage riots with grungy guitars and drums. The bass line is very catchy and the whole song flows well. I just feel that this song is good only as an opener but nothing else (like Queens of the Stone Age's song "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer", opener from "Rated R"). I'm not exactly sure why this song is called "Here Be Dragons", because it really has nothing to do with anything but riots.
Track 2. Jesus Stole My Girlfriend (4/5)
If this album has produced a hit, it's this song. The most listened-to song by Violent Soho, which isn't saying much. This song is a slower-paced rocker with a great lead guitar riff and good drums. I especially like the lyrics in this song (I thought you're my friend/i'll guess again/I look to the clouds/god gives me a frown) because I haven't heard that good of lyrics in awhile. The breakdown really complements the song, also.
Track 3. Son of Sam (3/5)
The best way to describe this song is a hybrid of rock and pop, but a rare one. Not fused together, but this song has hard rock verses and a poppy chorus. The chorus is decent, but they played it too many times in a 3 minute song (4 or 5 times). There was also a bridge in there that did not help the song, with nothing but the singer singing in a higher pitch, new lyrics, and cool tom-oriented drums.
Track 4. My Generation (4.5/5)
A very punky song. I get this vibe from the vocal style the singer goes with, almost reminding me of the Sex Pistols at points. Great lyrics driven by a very catchy beat. This song has a great bridge in it with hand claps at about the 2 minute mark, with the yelled lyrics "It's my generation, yeah right". The arrangements of the vocals were nice, with one singer using staccato and the other using legato.
Track 5. Muscle Junkie (3.25/5)
I'll be honest I have no idea what this song is about, or what a "Muscle Junkie" is, and I don't have much to say about it. It's another slow rocker, almost could be considered a rock ballad if it weren't for the "*** you"s in the verses. The screaming gets annoying, and that's mostly what he does in the chorus. And there is a lot of chorus.
Track 6. Outsider (5/5)
The one song on the album that is completely acoustic and without screaming. I'm a sucker for these kinds of songs, but everything about it is beautiful. The acoustic guitar, the singing, and especially the lyrics are brilliant and executed with ease. It sounds like he just grabbed his guitar and sang what was on his mind.
Track 7. Slippery Tongue (3/5)
This song reminds me of the band Jimmies Chicken Shack (random). This song is similar to Muscle Junkie, in which it is soft in the verses and heavy in the chorus. The difference is that they don't fit together in this song. When the chorus comes, you expect the guitar notes to progress into a higher note, but instead it progresses down, and has more of a dark, Alice in Chains feel to it. Other than that, the song is quite good (the lyrics particularly shine).
Track 8. Love Is a Heavy Word (4/5)
This song is a cross between a higher-end garage band and Nirvana (especially the vocal styling and the lyrics). There is, again, an unneeded bridge that takes away from the song just a bit. The vocals sound a lot like Kurt Cobain. In fact, the song sounds like something that would be on Bleach. The lyrics are really something else you won't find on this album (I'm your lover, and your reject too/she's an idiot, not illiterate). This track really screams creativity, and shows the potential for this band bringing back grunge.
Track 9. Bombs Over Broadway (4/5)
This song also has vocals that remind me of the Sex Pistols. This is defiantly the punkiest and angstiest (are those words?) song on the record. Hell, the chorus goes "Try and run away/*** the system/I didn't know you could be anybody". It's angst-filled almost to the point of being pretentious, but the important thing is that it did not cross that point.
Track 10. Narrow Ways (5/5)
My personal favorite track. Everything flows so perfectly, the vocal style, the beats, the riffs, the lyrics... all just pulled off beautifully. This is also the closest Violent Soho resembles to alternative music. I love the lead guitar riff, sort of a shuffling feel to it, with great bass and drums to back it up. The lyrics are good (She don't want you anymore/now you are alone/drift along the narrow way) but it's the way he sings them that make them great. This is one of the best alt. radio songs I can think of.
Track 11. Eat You Parents (4.25/5)
Along with the opening track, the lyrics have nothing to do with the title (thank god). The lyrics are nothing special, but this song is all about the beat. I swear this song has one of the best riffs on the album. The drums are pulled off very well and, me being the drummer I am, thought he did a very good job. It's hard to keep up with screaming.
This is a great album, and I see a very good future for Violent Soho if they keep it up. There are a few downfalls like some parts of songs not fitting with others, and some lyrics are under par, but I defiantly recommend it!
-Eat Your Parents