Down is Up

Scars on Broadway (Interscope Records)
Scars on Broadway

By Kory Wilcoxson

Hard rockers System of a Down are supposed to be on hiatus, but don't tell that to SOAD guitarist Daron Malakian. Since the band started its break in 2006, Malakian has stayed busy with a solo project which culminates in the debut album of Scars on Broadway.

Scars is comprised of Malakian and SOAD drummer John Dolmayan but is far from a SOAD redux. Malakian, the band's principal songwriter, musician and singer, takes Scars in a much more melodic direction, as compared to SOAD's aggressive punk style. Songs like "Universe" and "Insane" clear reflect the influence of 60s and 70s pop/rock on Malakian's creative energy.

That doesn't mean SOAD fans won't find something to like here. Mosh-pit rock still rules on "Serious" and "They Say," the band's first single, and the lyrics are a blend of politics, religion, and nonsense, as on "3005": "Let's clap our hands for the president and Jesus Christ and did I mention Charlie Manson and everybody else who was nice." While Scars is in the same musical ballpark as SOAD, Malakian's adventurous songwriting and passion should expand his fanbase.

Find out more at www.scarsonbroadway.com.