(Out Now on SideOneDummy)
Equipped with an arsenal of diverse musical firearms, Violent Soho’s latest release on SideOneDummy is set to be a future inspiration on younger bands. Hungry Ghost is a triple shot of grunge, pop punk and alt-rock: a trifecta to hypnotize anguished 15 to 40 year-old rock aficionados. With tracks like the kick-off ‘Dope Calypso’ coming across like Blink-182 trying to cover Dinosaur Jr, all high tweaked and snarky vocals, the song’s gritty guitars and raspy screams show the band isn’t another carbon copy pop punk act.
‘Fur Eyes’ crosses dangerously into country rock territory, without the annoying twang and hillbilly lyrics. Instead channeling the temper of Dylan with early Kings of Leon, the song tosses in more than a few curveballs while still remaining distinctly like a simple laid-back jam. Turning up the grunge and Nirvana angst with ‘Gold Coast’, the vocals screeching out “where did you go now?”, images of Cobain’s song writing rise to the surface. The choruses are loud with sharp rock progressions, while ‘Eightfold’ and ‘Liars” are reminders of how recurring guitar hooks can ultimately feel ingenious, not repetitious. Although they do cross post-grunge territory with ‘Saramona Said’, it’s tempered with the haunting arrangement of a title track that could be mistaken for the Beatles on barbiturates.
‘Covered in Chrome’ is the album’s auspicious livewire, infusing everything glorious about what this band has to offer, and while they’ve found some place to call home with SideOneDummy, Violent Soho may well become the labels household breadwinner. (8)