Album Review: Violent Soho - 'WACO'

29 March 2016 | 11:58 am | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Rip a bong and enjoy another loud and fuzzy offering from Violent Soho.

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Violent Soho, a rock band that exemplifies all things Australian, are one of the more recent local success stories that aren’t a Parkway Drive or The Amity Affliction, and there’s good reason for their success, too. When everyone and their damn dogs jumped on the bandwagon when ‘Hungry Ghost’ dropped hard in 2013 (insert random ‘HELL FUCK YEAH’ 'cause why not?) Violent Soho went from being four chilled out guys who played good music to four incredibly popular chilled out guys who play good music to a ton of people. And with ‘WACO’, their success and reach is only going to rise exponentially.

WACO’ is 11 songs of true music: loud, grimy, dirty, and a fuck load of fun to jam out to. Musically, it’s really what one would expect from the group, with no giant curveballs but that isn’t a bad thing.

Because Violent Soho not only understand their sound, they also do a great job of creating a surprisingly dynamic take on a garage rock/grunge style that's been emulated by dozens of bands throughout the ages. So obviously the softer parts of the songs are actually soft and dynamic and have room to breathe and the loud parts are you know, actually fucking loud. This gives a good breadth to the mix, and thus the songs as a whole. Despite this dynamic nature of their music, the songs do usually end up erupting into gruff yelling, pumping drums, thick bass grooves, and heavily distorted guitars. Y'know, the good stuff.

We would give you specific examples to go over, but honestly, each and every damn song would suffice, as they are all true jams. From opener ‘How To Taste’ right through to album closer, ‘Low’.

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But, for all of the raw nature and harshness of their music, there is still that strong element of melody present. Couple that with VS’s great songwriting skills and the band’s style never once feels stale or overdone. Furthermore, we find it hard to pick a favourite song because, as we said before, ‘WACO’ is just so damn consistent throughout.

Thematically and lyrically, the connections between the album to the 1993 FBI siege of the Mount Carmel Centre in Waco, Texas and the religious cult of Branch Davidians is a little paper thin and obscure at times (that’s just us, though), but it peaks through every now and then. ‘Slow Wave’ and ‘Holy Cave’ are perhaps the only songs that get closest to the subject matter, but that never detracts from how damn solid this record actually is.

Perhaps the only criticism we can level at this record is that while the band know their sound and formula inside and out, the album doesn't really diversify itself, with the exception 'Low' of course, but even then we would still dig 'WACO' just as much.

We’ll put it simply: Violent Soho’s ‘WACO’ is consistent as fuck and a terrific follow-up to ‘Hungry Ghost’, one that betters it in a lot of ways. There, that’s our conclusion. So, on ya bike sunshine, go listen to ‘WACO’ right now.

1. How To Taste

2. Blanket

3. Viceroy

4. So Sentimental

5. Like Soda

6. No Shade

7. Slow Wave

8. Evergreen

9. Holy Cave

10. WACO

11. Low