After listening to the first thirty seconds of Violent Soho’s US debut, you’ll be left wondering if you were magically transported back to the year 1992. ‘90s grunge is immediately evident throughout the disc, but think more along the lines of early bands such as Mudhoney and Tad rather than Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains. With songs consisting of simple two or three chord patterns and layered with heavy distortion, it’s safe to assume that if the year were 1992, Violent Soho would be multi-platinum millionaires.
Formed in 2004 and hailing from the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, Violent Soho created their name by combining Rancid’s punk hit “Ruby Soho” and The Violent into one. Their debut EP, Pigs & T.V., gained heavy buzz and acclaim throughout their native country and as a result, paved the way for their first full-length release, We Don’t Belong Here.
The band toured all over Australia and London with stops in New York and Los Angeles in support of the disc throughout 2008. The exposure led to their signing with Ecstatic Peace! Records, a label headed by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. On March 9, 2010 the band released their self-titled debut to the states which includes re-recorded versions of tracks from We Don’t Belong Here as well as brand new recorded material.
Luke Boerdam (guitar/vocals), James Tidswell (guitar/vocals), Luke Henery (bass), and Michael Richards (drums) all met while attending a Pentecostal Christian school in the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield. The 12 years of private schooling can be noted in the lyrics, but don’t be fooled; Violent Soho is anything but a Christian band. The band’s first single, “Jesus Stole my Girlfriend,” is a true tale of Boerdam’s engagement to Tidswell’s sister that ended because of religious differences.
While religion is sometimes a reoccurring theme, other songs such as “Muscle Junkie” and “Son of Sam” have enough angst and outcast overtones to make any Nirvana fan want to rock their flannel again. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, the band does indeed sport the grunge getup of flannel quite often.
With the recent end of their sets at Austin’s SXSW festival, the band is now currently on the road supporting hardcore punk band The Bronx. The tour will stop here in Chicago this Thursday, March 25th at Subterranean. They will also be taking part in the massive Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 22nd.
Tickets for the show with The Bronx as well as supporting acts Mariachi El Bronx and Dead Country are available online through TicketWeb for $17 with an 8 p.m. start time. The show is 17 and over.
Violent Soho’s debut is now available in stores and can also be found on iTunes with an exclusive track, “Eat Your Parents.”