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Scars On Broadway - 2008 Scars On Broadway



ARTIST: Scars On Broadway
ALBUM: Scars On Broadway
LABEL: Interscope
SERIAL: B0011592-02
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Daron Malakian - lead vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * John Dolmayan - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Serious * 02 Funny * 03 Exploding/Reloading * 04 Stoner Hate * 05 Insane * 06 World Long Gone * 07 Kill Each Other/Live Forever * 08 Babylon * 09 Chemicals * 10 Enemy * 11 Universe * 12 3005 * 13 Cute Machines * 14 Whoring Streets * 15 They Say

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.scarsonbroadway.com


Background
System Of A Down.. never liked them, well that was always my uninformed opinion on them. Until I heard the 'Mezmerize' album, this opened my ears to what a great band they were and I started to pick up many of their releases. My initial prejudices was due to them, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, being the darlings of Kerrang which at the time ridiculed all things I loved about music. OK, I still think many readers need convincing about SOAD, so what chance has an offshoot of SOAD got. Scars On Broadway is basically a vehicle for the works of SOAD guitarist Daron Malakian, one talented musician with his SOAD colleague John Dolmayan on drums. I am not trying to convince or convert melodic rock lovers but really to introduce a CD, that is at least worth a listen, even if it is just viewing a couple of their videos. Some of the album you will like while some tracks maybe just too extreme, but the more I play this I have started to enjoy many of the 'weird' numbers just as much as the melodic ones.


The Songs
In total, a mammoth 15 tracks, which opens with the fast and furious 'Serious', but it is the chorus and Daron's pronunciation of the lyrics that just keep hitting you over the head. It is a glorious beginning. 'Funny' comes across as Zager and Evans, 'In The Year 2525', giving it a real 60's feel, lyrics are clear and concise with excellent synths throughout this tune. Stunning vocal performance by Daron that really makes 'Funny' a future power pop classic with hooks a plenty. The next two tracks won't sit comfortably with everyone, being the frantic pairing of 'Exploding/Reloading' and 'Stoner Hate' which contains the word supercalfrajalisticexpieladocious and amazingly keeps the song flowing, maybe Julie Andrews could have guested on backing vocals, maybe not. This pairing really breaks up the CD in just the same way Faith No More always managed to do, powerful guitars ripping through both tracks. 'Insane' we find ourselves back in the realms of more melodic songwriting, which begins with a superb stalking introduction, the guitar riffs continue to stalk behind you for most of the track. This even picks up influences from the Teignmouth, Devon boys, Muse, (the place I once spent a very uneventful holiday). Synths reappear, driving beat with electrified guitars. Always an underlying melodic foundation to most of the songs. 'World Long Gone' is the first single, it is high tempo tune which just makes you sing along with it, in fact after years of failing miserably in Steve Perry impersonations I can hold my own with Daron. Yes, if singing along to this in the car, this will result in people looking at you very strangely, but don't worry, they don't understand the intensity, mind altering aspects of this song, in fact the whole CD. 'Kill Each Other' , not the most AOR song title, agreed?, although it is the most SOAD influence here, but also mixed with Enuff Znuff and Love/Hate who always had a bit more edge to many of their melodic cousins. Daron vocals are really believable and the sentiment is quite clear.

With 'Babylon', a chance to draw breath, before it explodes, even managed to include a symphony in the background. 'Chemicals' is not for the faint hearted, especially in the lyrical content, a Sex Pistols/PIL influence here, very x-rated and comes across something like John Lydon could produce if he ever got bored of advertising butter like here in the UK. There is a censured version of this album available , so this track must have been cut down to half its length. 'Enemy' very much similar to those popsters The Automatic, with the 'we are the enemy of the earth' lyrics which have a lot in common with much of the messages coming across from the album. 'Universe' has a hard rock opening and those SOAD influences continue banging on the door. This is probably the longest song so it gives Scars On Broadway a chance to stretch out and incorporate different stages to the song, for instance the NWOBHM guitar solo no less!.. excellent. I get the impression that Daron spends about 5 minutes on each song, tapes the first cut, no messing about, finished, complete, they just make it sound so easy. '3005' shows a change in vocal style, more sinister, more like Theodore Bagwell (T.Bag) from Prison Break, again a 60's feel, mixing a UFO guitar solo, merging into a reincarnation of Marc Bolan. 'Whoring Streets', does give you time to think, a chance to consider the world situation, a time for reflection, it is very much a thought provoking song. My last mention is the final track 'They Say', with its Joel Schumacher directed video, SOB obviously have got some big contacts, it is one of the best tracks, a classic 3 minute rock tune. Yes again political, environmental in nature, but gets the message across, I can't imagine any of the US candidates are going to be using this as their theme tune running up to the US elections.


In Summary
The CD has the odd temper tantrum but it's still polite enough to get its point across. As mentioned in my opening, you will either love it or hate it, but it certainly clears the cobwebs. It may be totally at odds with anything you might be listening too, but you can't ignore those subliminal melodies that are contained in these 15 tracks. It has an attitude running through it of lets throw everything against the wall and see if it sticks, but in reality it is a well crafted stroke of genius, listen with an open mind, you might be surprised. This CD is an expedition of uncertainties that could well easily disappear without trace, I for one hopes it survives.


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Comments
#1 | jeffduran on October 26 2008 23:22:31
absolute rubbish!
 
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