Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Album Review :: Violent Soho - WACO

Violent Soho


March 18 2016 (I Oh You)


Words: Linn B

Produced by Bryce Moorhead at Brisbane's The Shed studios, alt-rockers Violent Soho return with the follow-up to 2013's 'Hungry Ghost' and their fourth full-length, 'WACO'.

Named after the Texan city now synonymous with the 1993 siege, the quartet apply a liberal splash of textural melody, big guitars and resplendent riffs. The punk snarl of Luke Boerdam's “yeeeahhh!” that opens scuzzy first track 'How To Taste' really sets the seal: stop - go no further if this is not your thing; if it is, however, you're in for a treat as there's plenty more raucous energy and gritty, frustrated power surges throughout the 11 tracks.

Boerdam has described this album as 'Hungry Ghost'’s “older sister”: probably the sassy, feisty, assured older sibling that you start looking up to from your teens. The grunge-laced vibe punctuates every track through rugged onslaughts like 'Blanket' and 'Evergreen', to second single 'Viceroy' that is part Cobain coupled with an early Springsteen if you extend your imagination and a bassline to die for (or, at least, dig the air guitar out for). Lyrics like "You're like a rhinestone pickup line/My drunk guitar is more fun than you'll ever be" practically smell of Springsteen. That is, before that classic Soho bassline comes in, the riffs fall out with abandonment, and Boerdam’s insouciant vocal sneer shatters any prior allusions, rattles all the cages in a headbang-a-go-go.

While 'So Sentimental' comes in with some catchy, singalong lines as "oooh"ing harmonies work to perfection as a bridge between the battering of the more discordant tracks, the anthemic 'Like Soda' that follows must still surely rate as a VS classic, before 'No Shade' offers pristine pop-punk chords, although not as memorable as its four-minute predecessor, it still rocks home on melody rather than abrasive chords.

'WACO' is delicious, raw grunge at its best, delivered by a band who know how to fire up the atoms. And there are few better in or outside of Australia who currently do that better than Violent Soho.

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