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Please only read if you are 18+, there are some upsetting words used, and a lot of association to things I discourage you to do.
Scars on Broadway, if you've heard of them, you will automatically associate them with System of a Down. This group was founded by two former System of a Down members, them being Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan. This self-titled album was their debut release, and thus far their only album to have been produced by Scars on Broadway. It only made #41 in the UK album chart, but succeeded more in America where it reached #17 in the Billboard chart.
The current members of Scars on Broadway are Daron Malakian (vocalist, guitarist), John Dolmayan (drummer, percussionist), Franky Perez (guitarist, vocalist), Danny Shamoun (percussionist, keyboardist) and Dominic Cifarelli (bassist). Even though they have only had this album out, there are already former members! They are Casey Chaos (vocalist), Zach Hill (drummer, percussionist) and Greg Kelso (guitarist).
I would say that I am a fan of System of a Down, so was a bit sceptical when this album was released as to whether I should listen to it or not. Either way, it isn't an album I took to straight away, it took me a few listens to really get a feel for it, and for me to decide that I do actually enjoy the album, a lot.
- This song is very up-tempo, and very fast...with the occasional slow 'sentimental' bit. This song, well the layout of the song reminds me a lot of Chop Suey by System of a Down, but still, it's not their full style, which is quite shocking. The guitar solo part way in isn't that great, it just sounds a lot like 'chords' and sounds pretty simple...prove me wrong, I can't play guitar at all, but that's what it sounds like to me!
- A very slow song to begin with, it's almost calming. The bridge is VERY catchy, as is the tune to the song, it is one I would have stuck in my head for ages after. The riff in the middle of the song is a very calm, and complex one, with the percussion (probably keyboard from what I can hear) and is a joy to listen to.
- The guitar in this song is very 'familiar', I feel like I have heard the exact same tune somewhere else, granted this is a little faster, but still very familiar. Yet again, another up tempo fast lyrical song, enjoyable to listen to. I think that Daron's vocals in this are amazing, and I could listen to him singing all day.
4) Stoner Hate
- A very short and fast song. The bass is deep and dirty. It's funny how they refer to the 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' from Mary Poppins, it makes it seem like such a sweet song, when realistically the song is about a stoner, who is a psychopath in California.
- This song sounds a lot like 'Funny' to begin with, but soon brings it back to its own song. Another slow-ish song, with lyrics that are very 'meaningful', even if they are just a repeat the whole way through. This song is very 'dark' when you listen to the lyrics and do think of the meaning behind it, all about corruption and his psychedelic experiences.
6) World Long Gone
- The second release off of their album, and was in fact a theme track for a console game called 'Rock Revolution'. I think that it is a great song, up-tempo then slow, and the rhythm of the whole song is very catchy. The lyrics sound as if they are referring to third-world country problems with lyrics such as 'Maybe I don't know how many people are starving in this world long gone'. I guess everyone interprets different things, but this is my read of it.
7) Kill Each Other/Live Forever
- Another 'familiar' song, it sounds like one previously on the album, but still a very good song in its own. I love the guitar 'riff' (if you can call it that, not sure what you'd call it) but it's very catchy, as are the lyrics, after listening to this song I would definitely have the bridge and chorus stuck in my head for a long time. The lyrics are a 'brain-teaser' so to speak, 'If we're going to live forever how are we going to kill each other. If we want to kill each other how are we going to live forever', it leaves much to the imagination again as to how you want to interpret this song.
- A lovely slow mellow beginning, and the vocals and guitar suit each other really well. I really love how it picks up almost halfway through the song, you do expect it to just be a very slow song, but it shocks you, not going heavy straight away, but definitely building up, you expect 'the drop' any minute, and it just keeps building, and then all of a sudden, BAM, there you go, an up-tempo guitar solo. I do think that this song could be a bit boring, if it was just the style it was in the beginning, I think the way in which they 'built' the song up sort of causes excitement, you don't know when 'the drop' is going to happen, but you know it will. Possibly one of my favourite laid out songs on the album.
- I LOVE this song, it's my favourite on the whole album, and I could just listen to it on repeat constantly. It's an up-tempo more like System of a Down song. When you listen to the lyrics (after you get over how catchy the beat is and how much you want to dance to it!) you realise that they are in fact very deep, dark and morbid lyrics, such as 'Won't you rape me, won't you fantasize', these lyrics leave a lot up to your own interpretation again, what I read from it is their experience on drugs, and the way in which it makes them see a lot of things they would not usually notice, 'looking around and nobody cares'. I would definitely recommend this song...I love, love, love it. My only complaint about this song, it's not long enough!!!!
- This song to me sounds as if it's about the government, they seem to have very strong political views, and much like System of a Down did. I think they could possibly be classed as punk because of how much their lyrics are about rebelling, and corruption. Yet again, the song is about drugs, 'We're all on drugs'. The song in itself is a mid-tempo, yet up-beat song, its riffs are incredible.
- Clocking in as the longest song on the album at 4minutes 15seconds, I think it a good song, not great, but I do like it all the same. The lyrics I think are yet another politically fuelled debate, maybe about the global warming/climate change situation with lyrics such as 'Dancing in the acid rain, that's falling on the streets of shame', it leaves a lot to the imagination AGAIN! Scars on Broadway are very clever in giving a message...individual to each and every person as it can always be interpreted differently, as I have said many times. The song does sound a bit repetitive, but enjoyable, and the riffs towards the end remind me a lot of Muse.
- A nice guitar to start you off and it's very relaxing, as is the song. The lyrics yet again are about the government and religion no doubt, with lyrics such as 'Watching all the resurrection junkies' maybe referring to Christian followers? Who knows? It's not the a fast song like the others, and doesn't really have a build up or a drop, but still a good song all in all, even if it does seem that its really short.
13) Cute Machines
- Sounds very 'familiar' to begin with, then the build up is great, and maybe makes you have a little 'head bob', which is definitely does to me. The reference in these lyrics? To me they are basically about how quick technology is evolving so quickly, how we depend on technology and how maybe one day we will be in fact run my technology. The riff towards the end is very unique, and the sound is just something beautiful.
14) Whoring Streets
- A nice almost acoustic start to the song which follows through the whole song, the lyrics yet again are maybe government related? Or maybe even climate change related? 'Is there anybody there who hears me crying? I'm dying', maybe about an apocalypse?! A deep song, which is quite depressing when you do really think behind about the meaning behind the lyrics.
15) They Say
- In my opinion, probably the most popular well-known song off the album, probably because it was the first song to be released off the album. You can see why the second you listen to it, it's catchy and up-beat with the stunning guitar riffs that are from another planet. The guitar on this obviously is impressive as it was put on to Guitar Hero, and I think that it would be a really fun song to play. The lyrics are about how we are destroying the world, and how people say the world is going to end because of what we do...yet again only my interpretation of the lyrics.
So that being the end of the album, I shall draw to my conclusion, a 15 track album that has a listening time of around 43minutes, which is pretty standard for a 10 track album. Even though it is a short album, there's lots they want you to know, and for you to think about. The lyrics are all very controversial and at the same time can be a bit hard to interpret, everyone will interpret different things and I encourage you to listen to the album and really think about what they're saying. I think the album is very anti-government, very psychedelic and very apocalyptic.
Those who want to listen to this album expecting System of a Down, don't. Although there are very similar songs, this is has left a very 'Scars on Broadway' stamp to it. If not I'm pretty sure they would have just been called something like 'System of a Down without Serj Tankian'.
Well when i realised this album wasn't on dooyoo yet i felt compelled to make it clear to the dooyoo team.
Formed from the remnants of System of a Down, Scars on Broadway burst on to the Rock Music Scene with their first single 'They Say', a truly amazing song that mixes their politically energised lyrics and distorted guitar playing.
One can only wonder how have the System of a Down members managed to produce not 1, not 2 but 3 killer acts. Their new self titled album is sure to be a hit with System of a Down fans everywhere, and also to those yet to discover the band.
Not unlike System, the songs prove to be unique in their lyrics and styles, however one thing stood out from both system of a down and its former member's works; Serj Tankian, the fact that it isn't as heavy. In my opinion this is a good thing, and shows the diversity of the members.
One small argument I had with this band is the fact that they aren't System of a Down, and their songs aren't complete without the wonders of Serj Tankain and Shavo Odijian, but we can't have everything. I would recommend this album to any Metal or Rock Fan.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
6 World Long Gone
7 Kill Each Other/Live Forever
13 Cute Machines
14 Whoring Streets
15 They Say
16 They Say
17 They Say