Fireworks

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Soil - 'Scream: The Essentials' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/17/cf/c4/soil-scream-the-essentials-23-1518986660.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 18, 2018    
 
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I am struggling to find many redeeming qualities in what ultimately feels like a lazy cash in.

Chicago Modern/Alternative Rock outfit Soil were formed in 1997 and came to prominence with the song 'Halo' and sophomore full-length release 'Scars' in 2001. The band originally started out as a five-piece but various line-up changes for a variety of reasons has seen them operating for the past ten or so years as a quartet. The current line-up consists of original members Tim King (bass), Adam Zadel (guitar) and Ryan McCombs (vocals) and is completed by drummer Mitch Gable. This is McCombs second stint in Soil. He left initially in 2005 for family reasons (and consequently spent time as lead singer for Drowning Pool), to be replaced by A.J. Cavalier who contributed to the albums 'True Self' (2006) and 'Picture Perfect' (2009). Cavalier and original drummer Tom Schofield left in 2010 and McCombs returned for the 10th anniversary tour for 'Scars' and subsequent studio album 'Whole' (2013).

'Scream: The Essentials' is cited as being a "Greatest Hits" collection, but as Soil have achieved limited chart success it can be regarded more as a "Best Of". Even that description can be taken as relative as better material has been omitted. 'Scream' contains a newly recorded cover of 'Gimme Some Lovin'' which is rather lacklustre, and a cover of Ram Jam's 'Black Betty' which was included originally as a bonus track on the 2007 re-issue of 'Throttle Junkies'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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I'm hard pushed to identify an incentive for existing Soil fans to add this to their collection as twelve of the other eighteen tracks are available on previous albums and the other songs are merely alternative or acoustic takes. I'm glad they have included a few tracks from the albums featuring Cavalier as, 'Scars' aside, they are the ones I return to the most – '...Self' especially.

Sound wise Soil veer towards the heavier end of the musical spectrum (though the melody quotient is still high) and some of the more caustic vocals will be too much for the delicate ears of many 'Fireworks' & Rocktopia readers. I do like the band and have seen them several times (with both McCombs and Cavalier) yet even I am struggling to find many redeeming qualities in what ultimately feels like a lazy cash in, even though the quality of the material is good. It has been four years since 'Whole' and after that amount of time, a disappointing disjointed compilation is unacceptable and not essential.

Dave Bott

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