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Violent Soho

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Album Review

If proof is needed that the ‘90s alt rock revival is well on its way, it comes in the form of Violent Soho’s self-titled second album. A reworking of their 2008 debut We Don’t Belong Here with re-recorded and new tracks, Violent Soho looks to the days when grunge was king, serving up songs about girls, Jesus, and serial killers set to buzzsaw guitars, lumbering basslines, and loud-quiet-loud dynamics. This is the band’s first album for Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label, which is fitting — his imprint has also released similarly retro alt/grunge music from Be Your Own Pet’s Jemina Pearl and Pagoda, the band of Michael Pitt (who also starred in Last Days, Gus Van Sant’s film inspired by Kurt Cobain). Violent Soho is also descended from a fairly long line of Australian bands, including You Am I, the Vines, and Silverchair, who at one point or another in their careers, used grunge as the foundation of their music. The sludgy “Here Be Dragons,” in particular, sounds a lot like the Vines, minus their angst and the wide-ranging ambition that made that band occasionally confounding and fascinating. Violent Soho’s lack of pretension goes a long way on “Jesus Stole My Girlfriend,” a Pixies-meets-Nirvana-meets-Weezer mix of strutting power chords and shrieked choruses, and on “Generation”’s snotty vocals and handclaps. The band tosses in a couple of slow songs (“Muscle Junkie” and the cello-driven ballad “Outsider”) for range.


Formed: 2004 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Brisbane, Australia's Violent Soho revive the fuzzed-out rock of the early '90s, borrowing Weezer's crunchy guitars and Nirvana's distortion-coated hooks. Featuring guitarists/vocalists Luke Boerdam and James Tidswell, bassist Luke Henery, and drummer Michael Richards, the band formed in 2004, when the foursome were going to school together. After playing local shows for a while, they released their first EP, Pigs & TV, in 2006; the praise it drew allowed the band to tour Sydney and Melbourne. Violent...
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Violent Soho, Violent Soho
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