Review: Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway's Pogo-Ready Hard-Rock LP 'Dictator' - Rolling Stone
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Review: Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway’s Pogo-Ready Hard-Rock LP ‘Dictator’

The former System of A Down guitarist’s new outfit recalls his former band’s political, genre-blurring metal.

Greg Watermann

It’s been 13 years since System of a Down released their last record – for a variety of reasons, though the alt-metal band’s members claim to get along – so this album from guitarist Daron Malakian’s other project represents a welcome return to the SOaD sound. Although Scars on Broadway’s previous releases were a little more straightforward hard rock, Dictator contains a dozen humorous, pogo-ready rockers that Malakian recorded by himself in 2012 and shelved, thinking System might record them, until now. Standouts include the springy “Lives” (a celebration of Armenian genocide survivors that’s a solid Song of the Summer candidate), the scatological “Angry Guru,” the moody “Talkin’ Shit” (one of many songs with drug references) and the disco-thrash closer “Assimilate.” If it had Serj Tankian and the other System members on it, Dictator could be the album so many have wanted.


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