If you need proof that grunge isn’t dead, all it takes is one listen to the Australian rockers Violent Soho. Their Pigs & T.V. EP dropped in 2006 and received positive reviews. After much live performing, they followed it up with their debut LP We Don’t Belong Here in 2008. However, it was their self-titled 2010 release that started to really catch the ears of music fans around the world. Although the album is made up mostly of re-worked and re-recorded songs from We Don’t Belong Here, it was this release that many consider to be their first true album.
The album starts out with the song Here Be Dragons, a very cool, heavy song that definitely has roots deep in the grunge of the 90s, but certainly isn’t the best that they have to offer with this album. The classic feeling continues on the next song Jesus Stole My Girlfriend only this time the emotion is cranked up to maximum intensity for a song that could easily have dominated the radio if it had come out in the 90s! Next up is Son of Sam with a catchy pop undertone hiding behind the wall of heavy guitars. My Generation follows and no, it’s not a cover of the song by The Who, although it does share a similar passion and has more of a classic rock sound than most of Violent Soho’s music. However, the next track, Muscle Junkie, is insanely grunge and insanely awesome! It’s songs like this one where the band really shines. After delivering such a great grunge song, the band changes directions sharply with the next track, Outsider. Outsider is a mellow song played on acoustic guitar and cello that reminds me more of the song Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins than anything. It doesn’t really sound like Disarm, but it’s more along those lines. It’s a very cool song, but very different from most of the songs on this album. Slippery Tongue is up next. It starts out sounding a little bit like the previous song, Outsider, but builds up throughout the track. This song has a very cool sound and I’m surprised that it doesn’t get more attention than it does, but that could be because of the next song. After Slippery Tongue, the band cranks back up with the brilliant song Love Is A Heavy Word – my favorite track on the album! This one’s got everything: a driving beat, cool guitars, emotional vocals, and wild dynamics! It’s a real rollercoaster ride! The ride continues with Bombs Over Broadway, which is almost as good as Love Is A Heavy Word. It has a similar sound to Smashing Pumpkins’ song Bullet With Butterfly Wings. It’s weird that they burry to such awesome songs near the end of the album. The last song is Narrow Ways. It’s a good song and kind of atmospheric. It’s different from the rest of the album. I don’t know that I would have chosen this one to end the album, but it is a cool song.
Almost everything I’ve read about Violent Soho compares them to Nirvana. While it’s true that they are clearly influenced by Nirvana, Violent Soho has so much more to offer than just being a Nirvana clone. Their music is really it’s own thing, but I guess every musician is influenced by someone and every writer who writes about music has to find some point of common ground to reference when describing the music with only words. Yes, Violent Soho does play music that shares similarities to the music of Nirvana, so if you are a fan of Nirvana and classic 90s grunge, go check out Violent Soho’s music for yourself. You will be glad that you did!