‘Everything Is A-OK’, the fifth record from Australian grunge-pop outfit Violent Soho, is a triumphant culmination of everything that they’ve done before, flawlessly blending punk energy with a bunch of catchy hooks.
The band seem to have perfected their songwriting craft here, as the chaotic riffs take the back seat in turn for more upbeat, fun-filled anthems. A record like this is exactly what the world needs right now, it’s moody yet upheld confidently by a sun-soaked ray of hope and optimism.
Opener ‘Sleep Year’ kicks things off boldly, with pulsating drumming and ferocious riffs that twist and turn into catchy lyricism and a massive chorus. This might just be the band at their most melodic yet.
sounds much like a The Pixies or The Smashing Pumpkins song, with laid-back vocals and a dreamy 90s sensibility, perfect for a sunny day. It climaxes with “’cause I got no car and I got no house, but I kept the garden clean / There’s a baby boomer across the street and it won’t stop staring at me”, which transcends into mosh-worthy guitar lines and punchy vocal deliveries.
‘Pick It Up Again’ is an almighty highpoint, with reverb-drenched guitars, stupidly catchy lyrics, and an overall sense of exuberance. Violent Soho are incredible at splicing heaviness with melody, and just when you think they’ve turned things down a notch they hit you like a train with frantic instrumentation. ‘Shelf Life’ and ‘Slow Down Sonic’ see the band slow things down a gear, with glistening guitars and magnificently cool vocal lines that again bring to mind The Pixies, and even Weezer with their crunching hooks.
‘Lying On The Floor’ is ferociously chaotic from the get-go, with Nirvana-esque guitars and a ridiculous amount of energy. There’s no denying they wear their influences on their sleeves, and that it’s something that has arguably always plagued them, but they bring such a uniquely charming attitude into the mix that makes it damn near impossible to not enjoy what they bring to the table.
The band have found their feet wonderfully on this record, something that’s perfectly exemplified by ‘Easy’, a track that’s equally as catchy as it is wild. It’s really impressive how Violent Soho manage to sound so laid-back whilst still retaining a gritty punk sensibility, that’s present in every single track on the record.
‘A-OK’ finishes things up with an acoustic effort that provides us with a much-needed breather. This one feels especially relevant in today’s climate, with its dark and dreary lines that are consistently paired up with the reminder that, well, “everything is A-OK”.
There’s no way that Violent Soho could’ve known how painstakingly real these songs would feel right now, yet despite the melancholy subject matter of the tracks there’s a relentless drive of optimism behind it all that mirrors reality in quite a profound way. This record is a true diamond in the rough, providing some refreshing hope in these weird times. You’d be daft not to give it a whirl.