"Scars on Broadway" (Interscope/Velvet Hammer; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I’ll never forget the proverbial buzz that surrounded System of a Down (SOAD) way back in 1998 with a debut record release that defied even the most outrageous hyperbole of the promotional machine. The funny thing was that the hype was practically justified on the simple count of originality that SOAD exceeded all expectations. So it should be no great surprise that any musical act related to SOAD, no matter how big or small, should interest me.

More than a decade after SOAD’s explosive arrival on the music scene they are rightfully considered titans of the alternative metal mountain. This is true despite the fact that no one for sure can say if SOAD truly exists as an ongoing concern. The self-titled debut of Scars on Broadway exhibits a more rock sound for half of the band that was responsible for SOAD’s romp through the metal universe. Guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian and drummer John Doylmayan are the link to the past, yet display enough separation from history’s indelible mark that Scars on Broadway could properly be considered a unique act in their own right.

The self-titled debut from Scars on Broadway is independent enough to be separate from SOAD, but similar enough to be joined at the hip in just the right way that Scars on Broadway seems like a logical extension of SOAD in a rock, not metal, context.

“Scars on Broadway” was produced by Scars on Broadway.

Scars on Broadway is Daron Malakian on vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, organ, mellotron, Frankie Perez on rhythm guitar, Danny Shouman on keyboards, Dominic Cifarelli on bass, and John Dolmayan on drums and percussion.

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"Scars on Broadway" (Interscope/Velvet Hammer; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Scars on Broadway was formed by two members of System Of A Down: Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan. I will probably never like SOAD but, since this group doesn't sound anything like the aforementioned acronym, I can get into them. This group has an experimental sound but it's mixed with an alternative punch, too. It's odd in some parts but it also stomps in others and it's done with Daron's vocal style so you know he's all over the scale. Since he plays guitar as well he's got some great riffs and solos, weird stuff but still good.

Every now and then it might sound like SOAD and trying not to lean toward that sound would be kind of hard since it runs through their veins. But, for the most part, they distance themselves and create a new sound. I like the unconventional sounds that are in each song - a xylophone can be heard right along with a crunching guitar. It mixes well despite what you might think.

The political element is gone and slaps at religion have taken its place; end of the world stuff is also much of the lyrical content. That's okay, sing what you want guys; the political stuff was a reason I never like SOAD in the first place.

Either this is a side project or SOAD is on a hiatus, either way this is some new stuff from a couple of guys who used to be in that band.

Scars On Broadway: Daron Malakian — vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, organ, mellotron; John Dolmayan — drums, percussion; Franky Perez — rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Danny Shamoun — keyboards, percussion; Dominic Cifarelli — bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.