Violent Soho Premiere ‘Dope Calypso’ Video On Clash || ‘Hungry Ghost’ LP Out September 6th On I Oh You
‘Dope Calypso’ is the opening track from ‘Hungry Ghost’. The video is directed by Timothy O’Keefe and follows the band around their hometown of Mansfield, Queensland.
The Buddhist concept of the ‘hungry ghost’ neatly sums up the urgency, the want, the search of Violent Soho’s music. Amid the riffs, hooks and wail of front man Luke Boerdam is a stark examination of the way we view the world, and the way consumer culture feeds relentlessly on itself and its urges. A fitting theory for an unapologetic, no-bullshit post-grunge cacophony, as laid bare on the Brisbane, Australia four-piece’s second album, “Hungry Ghost”.
Following 2010’s accomplished self-titled album (released on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label) which delivered riffage-heavy highlights such as ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ and ‘Muscle Junkie’, the band found themselves at an impasse. The band, which have toured the US with Dinosaur Jr, Alice In Chains, Built To Spill and The Bronx, found themselves treading water creatively after years of touring.
But what it took to snap Luke and his bandmates — James Tidswell (guitar/vocals), Luke Henery (bass) and Michael Richards (drums) — out of the funk was a realization that all of their touring and experiences had given them a new perspective on music; hard work and that new thematic inspiration would lead to its own reward. “It was a process of figuring out what we did like,” Luke explains, “rather than concentrating on what we used to do. We’ve changed and grown as people, so the music we were writing needed to reflect that. Whatever excited us, those are the songs that we went with.”
What emerged on “Hungry Ghost” was a character study of the personalities and ideas of consumer society that inform their hometown of Brisbane suburb Mansfield, examining “the concept of the outsider, people who are a little bizarre and how they view the world”. And from the opening bars of ‘Dope Calypso’, chock full of fuzzy, tumbling riffs through to the subtle, almost delicate psychedelic swirl of ‘Okay Cathedral’, “Hungry Ghost” is Violent Soho growing up. “It’s stuff like status anxiety,” explains Luke, “and worrying about living up to other people’s standards, and in the process become so distracted, sitting on the couch watching other people live their lives. That mentality is behind it”.
There are, of course, still the ‘holy shit’ musical moments. The throat-tearing “yeahyeahyeahyeah” of ‘Covered In Chrome’, the grungy rock’n’roll power of ‘Gold Coast’ and ‘Lowbrow’s spitting anger. But the tempered slow burn of the album’s title-track demonstrates the maturation of the band’s melodic nous, continuing the work of the last record’s ‘Outsider’ and ‘Paper Planes‘. Adding to that are the shades of full throttle attack and pensive rumination on ‘Eightfold’ and ‘Saramona Said‘.
The band’s ability to relay a compelling character study and their broadened musical palette quickly dispel any notion of Violent Soho being some sort of slacker stoner band only interested in weed and skateboarding. “Hungry Ghost” is the album Violent Soho needed to make. Intelligent, melodic, and dripping with attitude, it’s also a record you need to hear.
‘Hungry Ghost’ Track Listing:
1. Dope Calypso
3. Covered in Chrome
4. Saramona Said
5. In The Aisle
6. Okay Cathedral
7. Fur eyes
8. Gold Coast
11. Hungry Ghost
“‘In The Aisle’ takes all the best chromosomes from the Smashing Pumpkins’ talented DNA. That means densely layered guitar spazzes and melodic punk drawling but there’s also enough scuzz on show to resemble five days without showering” — Noisey [UK]
“Violent Soho have always been on the cusp of greatness, and if “In The Aisle” is anything to go by, they might finally be reaching their full potential” — Indie Shuffle
“‘Generation’ is an irresistible blast of buzz-pop, while ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ and ‘Muscle Junkie’ suggest the fury and sensual languor of the Pixies.”– The Guardian [UK]
“Scales the energetic highs that made Mudhoney and Nirvana so exhilarating” — BBC6