Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer
I still remember the first time I heard Soho. I was a bit of a late comer to the 4122 fam and hype. It was Covered In Chrome that was my first taste of this four piece of natural musical talent and obvious life purpose of making music for the masses. From there I was hooked. Song after song, track after track, I went on a search for EVERYTHING Soho. I bought ‘Hungry Ghost’ on CD and later ‘WACO’ on vinyl and played them so many times I darn near wore them out.
In some strange twist of fate, I missed seeing them live for years. My first live experience was at the Good Things Festival last year. I know, I know. HOW did I manage to only see them for the first time last year? I am actually really sorry about it. Also, let’s not talk about the time I was drunk at Crowbar in Brisbane and was chatting to Danny Beus from Dune Rats at the bar. Luke Boerdam came up to say hi to Danny. I turned around and introduced myself and drunkenly told Luke I had reviewed them before when they supported Grinspoon. As the conversation went on Danny was laughing at me. He was like “Uhhh Shannon, I don’t think this is who you THINK it is!” – I had confused Luke with Zach Stepenson from Hockey Dad. Yeah look, I was drinking a lot that night, ok? My apologies Luke. Anyway, I digress. Right now my ears are in bliss town – because I am listening to Violent Soho’s new album, ‘Everything is A-OK’ and by gosh guys, with an album like this, everything really does feel like it’s gonna’ be A-OK.
‘Everything is A-OK’ is set for release on April 3 via I OH YOU. Can I get a “Hell fuck yeah!?” – if you’re a fan then there’s no doubt you are keen as mustard for this release! It’s album number five from these four hard rockin’ lads and comes after ‘We Don’t Belong Here’ (2008), Self Titled ‘Violent Soho’ (2009), ‘Hungry Ghost’ (2013) and ‘WACO’ (2016).
The album blasts into track one, Sleep Year. It’s so loud through my earphones that there’s no sleeping here right now. And there it is, that signature rock vocal from Luke, it’s unmistakable and familiar. It makes me smile so hard. It’s Soho to a tee. I close my eyes and I can see Luke Boerdom (vocals/guitar), James Tidswell (guitar), Luke Henery (bass) and Micheal Richards (drums) rocking out in their definitive Soho style.
Vacation Forever is track number two, which was the second single released from the album, shortly after the first single release, A-OK. Vacation Forever of course contains the now infamous and catchy as hell lyrics “There’s a baby boomer across the street and it won’t stop staring at me. Vacation life, forever in strife, I’ll leave the family, I just wanna be…”
Flowing into track number three, and single release number three, Pick It Up Again which was released last week (16/03/2020) along with a quality new music video that has fans laughing and grinning from ear to ear. It’s such a classic and iconic Aussie style music video which features some stellar acting from the guys and sees them door knocking as if to ‘sell’ their religion. Except, their religion is their new album. And hell, if they knocked on my door, I’d invite them in as fast as Bernard Black from Black Books invites the religious door knockers in to ‘talk about Jesus’ when he is trying to avoid doing his tax (if you haven’t seen that episode, please check it out – we all need laughter right now). My favourite moment from the video is when Tidswell knocks on a door and says “Don’t be alarmed, we’re Violent Soho, we’re a band, we’ve got a new album, do you want to hear something?” before they break into an a cappella version of the song on the front door steps of the persons home accompanied only by Mikey tapping along on a small music case. Classic.
Canada is next cab off the rank. Not sure if it’s just me, but I hear a strong Jebediah influence throughout this album. Which is a good thing if you ask me. Huge fan of Jebs and huge fan of Soho. So hearing a little of that sound here is sweet as sugar in my opinion. Shelf Life reminds me of some earlier, heavier Soho tracks. I love this track, it makes me want to jump around and lose my shit in my living room. I may as well hey. With no live music right now, you gotta’ make your own fun. I can’t wait for venues to re open so we can rock out to our favourite bands again and I can’t wait to see Violent Soho play this track live, I reckon it’ll be one of those tracks that goes off live. I can see it now. I can smell the sweaty bodies in the mosh. I’m there.
Slow Down Sonic actually does slow it down a little. This is a stand out track for me. I love this so much and honestly, I am actually not sure how to put this song into words right now. You just need to hear it. I would not be surprised if this one is a favourite for you too. It reminds me a little of Fur Eyes, which is one of my all time fave Soho tracks. Lying On The Floor is up next. Oh man. This album just keeps delivering absolute bangers doesn’t it!? I bet the guys laugh when they read that comment, cos they knew! They knew this album was shit hot. This track has an early 90’s grunge rock sound going on, which I adore. 90’s grunge is a big part of my music loving heart and will be forever.
Track eight, Easy. Kicks off with a sweet riff that sets the mood for the song. The bass line in this track also grabs my attention straight away. The purposeful kind of messy tone of the guitars in this track gives it something special. Easy flows straight into Pity Jar, this one features some hot guitar lead moments. It’s an upbeat track for the second last song on the album.
The album closes with the first song released, A-OK. It’s a softer track and it’s a beautiful display of the softer side of the band. Softer vocals, softer playing. It’s like a delicate embrace to finish things off. And the lyrics. I love the lyrics.
“Take my hand don’t leave me here
Can’t you taste the painted air?
Everything is A-O…
I, am on fire, hold my hand
Please don’t leave me here my friend
Hear the choir
All those songs, I can’t breathe here but I
Guess we’ll have to share
All the common air, alright…”
And that’s a wrap. That’s album number five from Mansfield’s favourite sons of rock. My review is only a brief glimmer of insight into what to expect. Violent Soho have delivered yet another golden album for fans and music lovers everywhere. I love it and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. Pre order and pre save yourself a copy now, HERE.
EVERYTHING IS A-OK WILL BE RELEASED ON FRIDAY 3 APRIL THROUGH I OH YOU – AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AND PRE-SAVE HERE
With thanks to Mushroom Group + I OH YOU