Review Summary: Violent Soho are back with some of their best songs to date, along with a few that will leave you a bit underwhelmed.
Violent Soho are the closest thing that Australia have to a saviour of grunge and hard rock, and for that, we are forever grateful. Hailing from Brisbane, Queensland, these rockers have produced music since 2004, but are beginning to hit new levels of fandom with their new(ish) album, “WACO.”
Soho’s previous two albums, “Hungry Ghost” (2014) and “Violent Soho” (2010) showcased a band who, if steered in the right direction, could produce something amazing. To me, “WACO” isn’t quite there, but is getting close.
The album kicks off with “How To Taste,” which begins with a misleadingly soft guitar riff, that shows a rare case of Soho’s softer side, until it blasts into the full-blown grunge that we know and love from these guys. This is a killer track, and the same goes for the 4 songs succeeding it.
“Viceroy” is the stand out song on Violent Soho’s latest album, giving us a memorable riff, some of Luke Boerdam’s signature yelling, as well as a catchy, sing-a-long chorus that is bound to get stuck in people’s heads.
The 4th song on the LP, “So Sentimental,” represents how Violent Soho have grown up since their 1st and 2nd albums, by giving us a tune that is melodic, mature and even somewhat emotional. From the softer guitars to the harmonising “oohs” and “whos,” this song for me is one of Violent Soho’s strongest to date.
The album does, however, have its downfalls. I feel that the second half of the album is nowhere near as strong as the first, and lacks any notable songs. To me, it feels like the band decided to chuck all of their best material right at the start of the album, and hope that no-one continued to listen past that.
The song “Evergreen” shows some promise with a solid chorus and angry backing vocals that make you want to yell along, but the intro and verse chords sound eerily close to that of “Everlong” by Foo Fighters, which ruins the song for me.
Among the later tracks are songs like “Low,” which just fall flat. “Low” clocks in at 5 minutes and 47 seconds, and is the song equivalent of a bowl of rice bubbles, being, it has a lot of mass, but little substance to it.
Overall, “WACO” is definitely worth listening to for the first 5 tracks alone, but unfortunately dies off a bit after that. If you’re a die-hard Soho fan, or you absolutely love Aussie grunge music, you’ll love this album, but otherwise, I’d just recommend listening to the singles and then pushing it aside.
How To Taste