Friday, September 13, 2013
Violent Soho - "Hungry Ghost"
Artist: Violent Soho
Label: I OH YOU Records
Distributor: Mushroom Records/Universal Music
Catalogue No: IOU32. UPC No: 934100402070-2
Release Date: 6 September, 2013
Producer: Bryce Moorhead
Purchase Album Here: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/hungry-ghost/id665829307
Recorded at: The Shed, Brisbane
Personnel: Luke Boerdam - Guitar and Vocals
Luke Henery - Bass
James Tidswell - Guitar and Vocals
Michael Richards - Drums
Genres: Grunge, Rock, Retro, 90's
1) Dope Calypso
3) Covered In Chrome
4) Saramona Said
5) In The Aisle
6) Okay Cathedral
7) Fur Eyes
8) Gold Coast
11) Hungry Ghost
Third albums are always considered the be the most difficult one of any recording artist's career as it is the one that usually makes or breaks them as a band, especially where becoming a household name. "Hungry Ghost" is no exception and with the media attention and airplay it's had could very well be the one that will take Violent Soho out of the indie ghetto and into the main league of Brisbands like Powderfinger, Custard, Savage Garden, and The Butterfly Effect before them.
Three years since their second eponymous album, "Hungry Ghost" has seen the band sign to Melbourne label I OH YOU Records, a division of the mighty Mushroom music emporium. Recorded by estwhile friend Bryce Moorhead in Brisbane, but mastered in the US, this album sees Violent Soho show signs of maturing with their sound whilst still holding on to the shards of retro grunge that made them great in the first place.
The album title originates from the Buddhist philosophy of people who spend their lives being driven to their emotional needs in an animalistic manner and only living for the moment. This especially pertains to consumerism and gluttony.
DOPE CALYPSO: The second video taken from the album, it's a simple take on frustration on the world not being the way that we may wish for it to be. Opening up with some phased guitar, it goes into a huge grungy chorus similar to Radiohead's "Creep" and Stiltskin's "Inside".
LOWBROW: More even paced song, which is supposed to be a rant about upper-class people who are about worshiping military war but are vicious animalistic people underneath their luxuriant and civilised exterior.
COVERED IN CHROME: Their second single from the album, it is a rueful number about wishing for the ideal working life of having a 9 - 5 career and empty promises similar to the American Dream of the 1950's whilst underneath many people live lives of cynical sexual desparation as evidenced by the line "A pussh is a piece of skin wrapped in pocket" whilst giving their power away to evil, corrupt religious and political leaders "Raised their arms to a leader outside. Praising the Devil they said 'Hell, fuck yeah!' The song could very well be a crowd favourite with the screaming "yeahyeahyeahyeah" line in the chorus.
SARAMONA SAID: Underneath the easy pace of this track with some nifty icy guitar licks, the song is about becoming unconnected and desensitised to the media and carnal passion using drugs as a form of escapism "cause I'm a free man" and living a leaderless life.
IN THE AISLE: The first single from the album featuring me riding a bike naked in the video, the song tears along at a breakneck speed with a solo rhythm guitar intro which the song is constructed around and finishing up with a great moshing guitar battle. The song relates to churches that ostracize people like me who think and behave on a different level to the masses and reprimanding the religious leaders for their callousness and superficiliaty with the chorus "Why does everything you say sound hollow?" This lyrics refer to an eccentric gentleman from Brisbane who haunts the Southside Tea Room in Stones Corner run by The Grates and always carries a cricket bat and his own tea bags which he asks the staff to boil for him rather than purchasing drinks at their place.
OKAY CATHEDRAL: From the album's most aggressive rocker to a grunge ballad, it is about the Tall Poppy syndrome that exists in our Australian culture and searching for one's own innate spirituality for strength and reassurance, hence the title. Beautiful arrangement which doesn't overplay itself and even the feedback towards the end is just as unobtrusive as the rest of the instruments.
FUR EYES: As I stated elsewhere, this should be released as the third single from the album and could most likely break the band into the Top 40 singles chart. It is the most radio-friendly pop orientated track on the album which could get good rotation on the Austereo networks as well as Triple J. Opening up with a gorgeous scintillating guitar riff reminiscent of Morrissey's 1991 hit "My Love Life" and Boerdam seriously contending with Billy Corgan in the vocal department, this song has nice dashings of tremelo fuzz guitar in the instrumental break and gorgeous backing vocals from James Tidswell that run throughout the track and form the outro.
GOLD COAST: Despite the title alluding to Australia's most popular tourist city, lyrically it is a much different affair and showcases Boerdam's electrifying sneering vocals to the hilt.
LIARS: Name-checking one of Brisbane's main southside roads Old Cleveland Road at the start, it's about living the life of a youngster in Brisbane in the middle of scorching summers and social class clashes "Smelt like fear with the rich kids and their parents". A good catchy track with some disorderly rhythm-less guitar crashing in various parts of it.
EIGHTFOLD: A pun on the word sevenfold, lyrically it is about people who dress to the nines to impress religious leaders in churches, and disavowing materialism and Pentecostal Christianity which includes speaking in tongues, the cult of egoism and nihilism of the preachers, wearing expensive designer clothes for worship services and eventually having to account for their behaviour. Another great rocking track sounding quite similar to "In The Aisle" and the Sex Pistols "Holidays in the Sun".
HUNGRY GHOST: The closing cut is a chilled out track which is about chilling out after a stressful day and regaining a sense of inner-peace and propriety from the world.