WLFC’s Weekly Review

Violent Soho – Waco

By Bobby Beebe

Some of the most interesting guitar rock albums of the past couple years have come from Australia. Melbourne’s Courtney Barnetts with 2015’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Sydney’s Royal Headaches on their 2015 sophomore LP, High, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, also from Melbourne, with this year’s Nonagon Infinity have received critical acclaim for their unique and impressive compositions. Most recently, grunge punks Violent Soho have added to the flood of Aussie-made records destined for end of the year list greatness with their fourth LP, Waco. There does seem to be something that sets them apart from other successful Australian rock artists though, the easy-going, organic passion that permeates the band’s discography, especially this latest record which seamlessly mixes raw emotion with a party ethos into a fun-loving, yet extremely poignant record. If nothing else, Waco is a refreshing piece of music that feels especially honest compared to some of their peers. That is not to say that Violent Soho records are lazy or apathetic, quite the contrary actually. It seems that the organic attitude with which they approach the band, allows Violent Soho to make spontaneous and natural sounding records. This is certainly the case with Waco which, while obviously has been carefully crafted, sounds a lot like it could have only been born out of some kairotic moment. Take “Blanket,” the album’s second song, in which the chorus explodes “Well I’m gonna take my time/And I’m gonna live my life.” The band is letting things happen to them, not forcing it, but rather waiting until the songs come. It certainly shows in the slow builds of songs like “Viceroy” and “Like Soda” which pit soft, poppy verses against loud, usually shouted choruses. The tension on these tracks does not play as orchestrated, though. There is a certain guilelessness to the way the songs explode, as if there was no other option than for them to happen this way. The result is fun, drunk songs that pack a lyrical punch. This is a record that reaches substantial depth, pop appeal and musical tact through its organic and spontaneous nature, as if five people picked up instruments and played them for 45 minutes straight with no real plan, but somehow produced something completely cohesive and compelling.

WLFC Top 10:

10. Car Seat Headrest – Joe Gets Kicked Out of School

9. Slothrust – Horeshoe Crab

8. Told Slant – Tsunami

7. Violent Soho – Viceroy

6. Mitski – You’re Best American Girl

5. Kweku Collins – Stupid Roses

4. Whitney – No Woman

3. Enjoy – World Music

2. Twin Peaks – Wanted You

1. Wilco – If I Ever Was A Child

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