Tuesday, September 2, 2008

'Scars on Broadway' - Scars on Broadway

In 2003 following the Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums System of a Down announced their hiatus resulting fans, like myself, dacking themselves in fear of a world without the System. However soon after front man Serj Tankian released his own CD leaving fans anxiously in wait for guitarist Daron Malakian’s own project that he was surely to head after penning much of the aforementioned albums. Finally the wait is over with Malakian and System drummer John Dolmayan’s new band Scars on Broadway.

This self-titled debut is token Malakian in every conceivable way with many songs feeling like lost siblings of Mezmerize and Hypnotize, not surprising seeing as Malakian himself claiming that he could have released ten albums with the amount of songs that he wrote during that period. As you may have already guessed I can’t help but compare Scars to System because the resemblance between the songs is uncanny, I constantly expect to hear Serj’s voice soar over and above creating that great epic feeling that System’s music contained. It’s unfortunate that this feeling remains for Scars because it really is a great album with songs like ‘Stoner-Hate’ and the blasting opener ‘Serious’ truly setting the bar for other rock records of the year. Stand out songs have got to include the dramatic ‘Kill Each Other / Live Forever’ and ‘Chemicals’ as well as the first single ‘They Say’ and my personal favourite ‘Cute Machines’. Scars isn’t all just crazy rock’n’roll though, there are some songs that are very reminiscent of System’s ‘Lonely Day’ (another Malakian song funnily enough), ‘Whoring Streets’ and ‘Insane’. However there are a few repetitive songs that get on my nerves after a while – ‘Enemy’ and ‘World Long Gone’ I’m looking at you.

All up Scars’ debut effort is well worth the full retail price of a new album with an impressive fifteen songs making this a must for anyone who was a fan of System of a Down. However like I mentioned before this album feels at times like a half-finished System album without Serj, and it’s this lack of mind-blowing innovation that Serj Tankian’s ‘Elect the Dead’ contained that stops Scars on Broadway’s debut from being an absolute awesome album.