Release Date: Jul 29, 2008
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Metal
2008 has been the year of side-projects taking centre-stage, with the Raconteurs, Neon Neon and the Last Shadow Puppets all releasing albums that have transcended the traditionally non-essential status of such supplementary endeavours. But Scars on Broadway (featuring Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan from Armenian-American rock monsters System of a Down) are the first of the current crop of overachieving spin-off ensembles to project an awareness of just how good a band Iron Maiden were before Bruce Dickinson joined. Song titles such as 'Whoring Streets', 'Stoner-Hate' and 'Babylon' might lead one to expect a somewhat austere listening experience.
Backing away from the chaotic time shifts and incredulous dynamics of the multi-platinum System of a Down, drummer John Dolmayan and guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian (not the goateed singer, the other one) dial everything back for their self-titled debut, Scars on Broadway. The prog metal Eastern scales and operatic outbursts are left behind, replaced by typical modern rock song structures and straightforward chord changes. This isn't to say that it doesn't rock hard.
Scars on Broadway was seen by Daron Malakian as a respite from the pop-metal fury of his work with System of a Down. To that end, Malakian has succeeded immensely in providing an album of more eclecticism and songwriting ingenuity than some thought possible. Yes, there’s plenty of metal influences, but they’re mostly filtered through the heavy grunge sound by way of Soundgarden and In Utero-era Nirvana.