Friday, August 15, 2008


A few weeks ago, LEO asked me to write another music review. I ended up with a pre-release copy of the debut from Scars on Broadway. The album came out maybe two weeks ago, but my review wasn't printed until this week.

You can hear a track or two on the band's website, or you can check out two of the songs mentioned in my review at their Myspace page. For some reason my review was edited, and in a way that doesn't make much sense to me. One sentence was cut in half, and one sentence was actually lengthened to include a dig at SOAD. Plus, if you consider the wasted spacing higher on the page in the printed issue, there's no reason to have shortened my review for space constraints.

Anyway, the online version is here, and my original text is here:

Scars on Broadway
Scars on Broadway

With SOAD on hiatus, lead guitarist Malakian and drummer Dolmayan have formed a new band called Scars on Broadway. A more straight-forward rock direction is attempted, but the music ultimately fails to live up to the hype.

Most of the songs sound like two or three minute ideas that rely on a single hook, frantic delivery, and little else. The record’s cohesion is questionable – is this minimized formula rock? A studio-slick amalgam of punk, dance, and disjointed screaming passages? Did he really just shout “supercalifragalisticexpealidocious”? Lyrics range from political commentary to frivolous nonsense, and Malakian's descending hollering during the verses of "Chemicals" is laughably obnoxious.

These disparate elements do work together on a couple produced-to-sound-heavy pop songs: not completely on the single “They Say,” but tracks like "Kill Each Other / Live Forever" and "Babylon" are better. To compliment this debut, I could characterize it as diverse and driving, but it's more honest to just note its lack of development and direction. Scars on Broadway is an odd attempt at over-produced frat-rock that does not compare favorably with the band members' previous work.

No comments: