Soil and Hed PE Concert Review – 5/7/14 – Whisky A Go Go – Los Angeles, CA
You’re about to read a review of a review. I am reviewing Darius’ review of a Hed PE and Soil co-headlining show. Switching it up a bit, because I really want you to get to the end of this instead of just skimming. Hey, I’m guilty of it too.
I was standing outside of a UPS Store, waiting for several hundred copies. They said, “Email it to us! It’ll be ready when you get here!” I emailed. I got there. Needless to say, it wasn’t ready. With about thirty minutes to kill, I decided to call Darius to solicit feedback on the show.
If you’ve ever gone to Darius’ Twitter, you’ll see that he’s pretty much always at shows. Somehow, Soil has escaped him all these years. Unfortunately, Scars was released at the wrong time, while Redefine was released by the wrong record company. Ryan then left the band, and eventually released two more Soil albums under the Drowning Pool moniker (cough cough). With Ryan out, AJ Cavalier took over lead vocals. In 2006, Soil released True Self, which never had a chance due to being released by DRT Entertainment. They were a record label that had several monster albums in their hands (American Head Charge’s The Feeding, and The Street Dogs’ Fading American Dream, just to name two), but had no idea what to do with them. “Give It up” should have never been the lead single. Picture Perfect came out in 2009, but by that time few cared. “Like It Is” was the album’s lead single, which seemed like “Give It Up” with a new title. Here we are in 2014, and Ryan has reclaimed his rightful place in the real Soil, and their new album Whole is on the market.
I’ve seen Soil a number of times over the years: at Roseland Ballroom (RIP) on Scars with Static-X, at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on True Self with Staind, at the Webster Theater on True Self with Mushroomhead, and headlining the Knitting Factory (RIP) in New York City in 2007. But as mentioned above, they’ve always managed to elude Darius. So after years upon years of me bringing them up in conversation, he finally gets to see them, with their original frontman (and his annoying microphone).
The conversation starts with, “Dude, they played ’37 Stitches’. Can you believe they played that song?” “37 Stitches” was a song written by Ryan McCombs while he was in Drowning Pool. It was an accidental hit that broke into the top five on the mainstream rock charts nearly two years after Full Circle (Drowning Pool’s third album, and first with McCombs) was released. Rarely do bands play songs from their frontman’s other band(s) during their set, especially when there was bad blood at the time of the initial split. So yeah, that’s kind of cool. After addressing “37 Stitches”, Darius proceeded to go over the set, essentially raving that it was excellent. “I was blown away. I can’t wait to see them again. Ryan’s voice was sick.”
He lamented about the attendance, stating there were about 75 people there when Soil hit the stage, and about three times as many when Hed PE went on. Hed PE is something neither of us get, although “Renegade” can get you pumped up when played loud. Since it’s something not for us, and really not for our audience, we’re not the ones to really comment. Hence, Hed PE will be left alone for the purposes of this review.
But getting back to Soil, Whole picks up where Redefine left off. Many of you are unaware they’re still pounding the pavement, unaware they’re releasing new material, unaware Ryan’s back in the band, or dare I say unaware they have songs other than Halo. For me, as a fan, Darius’ review was gratifying. Hearing him just go on and on about them killing it on “Unreal” made me forget about the UPS Store’s ineptitude.
Soil is a great rock band, with a phenomenal lead vocalist. I urge all of you to catch them when they come to your town. They’re loud, the songs are there, and they’re one of the best hard rock bands going today. Open your eyes. They’re not nu-metal. You’re allowed to listen to them. You’re allowed to like them. Now do like Darius did, go to the show, become a fan, and thank me later.