Review: Tinderbox by Violent Soho
Today, Brisbane group Violent Soho released their new single Tinderbox. You can listen to it on Home and Hosed, and it is also available on iTunes.
As soon as I heard that the song was out, I had to have a listen to it. I’ve followed Violent Soho’s music for the past year, and I remember being absolutely enthralled by their music.
Let’s start with Tinderbox. It’s hard, and it’s edgy, and it’s exactly what Violent Soho fans would expect from the band that is probably the only existing grunge band of this decade. Violent Soho channels a little Sonic Youth in the guitar melodies of Tinderbox, while still maintaining the intricate but sharp vocals reminiscent of songs from their self-titled album. It’s hard to really define where this song fits, genre-wise, because so many people are insistent that grunge is dead. Violent Soho are living proof that it’s not.
The chorus of Tinderbox is powerful enough to be catchy, and has just the right amount of melody to it; somewhat reminiscent of the slurring vocals of Billy Corgan in some of the Smashing Pumpkins’ songs on Mellon Collie. The guitars are full-sounding – in comparison to Violent Soho’s much rougher, harsher tracks, Tinderbox is a hell of a lot fuller. It might not have the really dragging, hard choruses that are in stark contrast to the pleading verses – but it’s hard all the way through. Violent Soho has often been compared to Nirvana, and if I had to compare this song to something of theirs – it would be much like some of the tracks on In Utero, but even then, Violent Soho has their own twist. Tinderbox is more well-rounded than what we’ve heard from them, and definitely not a bad thing. It’s from a band that knows exactly what the fuck they’re doing, and with not a single hint of tryhardism.
Don’t get me wrong – tryhardism is so evident in a lot of bands that try to recreate or relive a certain era; a certain style. Long gone are the days when blokes dress up and colour their hair and deck out with piercings and use a ludicrous-sounding stage name. I hate to judge a book by its cover, but take one look at Violent Soho and you just don’t see a bunch of tryhards. Too often now, bands are making their way to the top by means of cladding themselves in some uniform – some “gear” – that they believe will somehow make themselves intensely unforgettable.
I’m sorry Slash, but the top hat ain’t doing you anything.
I’m a bit of a metalhead, but I can admit that no matter how much you can shred a guitar in the bridge of a song, it doesn’t measure up against what Violent Soho can do and how their sound is very much “theirs”. You can liken them to other bands, but you’re always going to know that despite whatever fusion of grunge bands Violent Soho may be – Violent Soho is Violent Soho.
Violent Soho is a terrific group with undeniable talent to recreate something that has been in our heads but never has been able to escape. Their music is real – it’s not the kind of stuff that you blast out of the speakers and instantly it loses its feeling. It’s not like that at all. The power carries throughout Tinderbox no matter what volume you play it. When you don’t have a single bit of ooze from a song, you know it’s a good one.
I have to admit that Tinderbox is effortless. The reason I call this track well-rounded is because it flows all the way through. No hesitation, nothing strange or odd, but just a rich, fantastic piece. Subtle guitar solos and impeccable percussion make this track so crisp and clear despite its style.
Tinderbox ends viciously, leaving you desperate for more. It’s hard not to compare this new track to their others. Violent Soho fans will know that their self-titled album and their previous album We Don’t Belong Here contained similar tracks, with their self-titled album containing most of the content on We Don’t Belong Here – but re-recorded with some changes. In essence, we don’t often hear something new from these guys, and with Tinderbox now making its way to your eardrums – don’t be surprised. It’s hot, it’s hard, and it’s heavy.
It’s a wonderful listen from beginning to end, and I’d highly recommend it for classic rock lovers and metalheads who have a taste all around the spectrum. Perhaps this isn’t one for those who are into bubblegum pop – but if you’re more into that kind of stuff – you’ll probably appreciate this one if you can tune out the bulk of the percussion.
Really though – best $1.69 spent this month.