Lets be honest. Isolation sucks. It’s boring and we all miss our friends. You’re either sleeping too much or too little, skipping out on meals and then binge eating in front of the TV. Listen up, we are in a funk! Which is why Violent Soho’s long awaited album Everything Is A-OK couldn’t have come at a better time.
After four long, torturous years, the Brisbane grunge band have finally released new music. Everything is A-OK is the band’s fifth studio album, and it looks set to follow in their predecessors’ footsteps of critical and commercial acclaim.
If you’re a fan of Soho you’ll be well aware of their previous discography, including Aria gold-winning albums Hungry Ghost and Waco. But even if you’re not familiar with their work, odds are you would recognise their hit anthem ‘Covered in Chrome’- which beat out thousands of other songs to chart at #4 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of the Decade.
For a fan whose religiously listened to the band since the age of 16, the release of their new music is a blessing. When I first saw them live at Splendour In The Grass, I was in year 10. I’ll never forget how the vibrations moved through my body as their performance of ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ seemed to stop the festival. I’ve seen them a number of times since then, and the goosebumps always come. And their music has only gotten better with the years. Everything is A-OK is no exception.
So let’s talk about their new album. Released on Friday, Violent Soho return with their signature grungey-rock sound, but there is something distinctly different about it. It’s more polished than their previous works, there’s a quiet confidence about it that threads its way through the track-list. Their music has never been about the lyrics, but rather about their sound. That being said, these lyrics seriously slap.
“There’s a baby boomer across the street/And it won’t stop staring at me”
Luke Boerdam’s 90’s inspired drawl crescendos over the noisy clash of instruments, the drum beat so mesmerising you can’t help but bop your head. This is the signature sound for pretty much the whole album. I dare you to listen to it and not at least tap your foot. It’s near impossible.
The stand outs for me so far:
Vacation forever: The song with the baby boomer line. How can you not love it for that lyric alone. This tune is reminiscent of the Soho sound we all know and love. The grungey-rock vibe is out in full force in this one, but the sporadic change in tempo is a welcome addition.
Shelf life: slower than their usual music, Boerdam’s voice really carries this track. Stripped back from their usual clash of instruments, this song feels more vulnerable than we’re use to seeing from Soho.
Lying on the floor: Contrasting ‘Shelf life’, this tune has a killer guitar riff that immediately draws you in. Heavy on the religious allegory that Soho are known for, this track speaks to the tribulations of growing up. If the chorus doesn’t get you, the beat will.
Pick it up again: Sounds like classic Soho, only better. The band has used the four years since their last album to mature, and it couldn’t be clearer than in this song. Reminiscent of some of their greatest hits, like ‘Viceroy’ or ‘Like Soda’, this track is a seamless continuation of the Soho legacy.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the title of the album was a sarcastic nod to current world events, but ironically Everything is A-OK was conceptualised long before the world started falling apart. In fact, Violent Soho released two songs in the lead up to the new album drop. ‘A-OK’ was one of them, hitting our airwaves in 2019.
Everything is A-OK is already being branded as the Album of the Year. With the world decidedly not okay, this album offers the perfect catharsis to help you through the iso-blues. So check it out, and let me know what songs stood out for you.
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