James Dannatt

12:04 7th July 2008

It’s Independence Day, and in Camden’s Underworld one man truly celebrating a newfound freedom is Daron Malakian. The former System of a Down guitarist is back with his new band Scars On Broadway and appears a man who has regained his creative power after breaking the frustrating shackles of musical stagnancy.

Bearded up like Vikings wielding their axes, Scars On Broadway take to the stage with an enthusiasm and presence of men half their age eager to take on the industry. The intimate discreet settings provided an adequate stage for the band to showcase their forthcoming self-titled album.

Malakian recently told Gigwise that his sole future priorities would be with his new band, and this was made ever clear by his performance in Camden. Jumping and bobbing around while sharing eye-popping glances with the drooling audience he had the determined look of a man who had finally found his purpose.

A lyrically baffling and jesting collection of songs married with ardent world liberty expressions amalgamated into a set of fixating and somewhat capricious songs. The shockingly brutal and expressively honest words of ‘Chemicals’, which includes the lines: “Fuck the world as we’re ready to rock/Piss on your face while you suck on my cock,” along with the chanting “Come eat some chemicals with me,” make for one of the most entertaining moments of the night.

‘Enemy’ is similar in its creative connotations with the repetition of “We’re all on drugs,” making headway during a break in the song.

Narcotics and jovial meanings aside the songs are less ambitious then System of a Down with a poppier edge that allows for some consistency. Other striking tracks on the night include single ‘They Say’, ‘World Long Gone’ and ‘Whoring Streets’.

The rhythms are clearer and the vocal work between Malakian and guitarist Franky Perez stands at the forefront of the rest of the exertions.

The powerfully balanced and durable work going on behind the stage show by John Dolmayan is also not to be overlooked. His consistency and experienced abilities provide a tight sound that nods back to his days in System.

There was little time for talk between the songs as Malakian let the album do the talking for him. A blistering set culminated in many a satisfied punter who will now be counting down the days till the album release date.