Review
Scanners
Violence is Golden

Dim Mak (2006) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Scanners – Violence is Golden cover artwork
Scanners – Violence is Golden — Dim Mak, 2006

You, faithful SPB readers as I, listen and tend to prefer music that can best be described as "heavy". This is quite possibly the music you exclusively listen to. Perhaps you put on The Locust and Gorgoroth when you want to get pumped and juiced and rocked and whatever proactive analogy you can think of and then, when you're done, you draw a nice hot bath, light some vanilla-scented candles, and mellow out to The Dillinger Escape Plan. This is not the album for you.

If you, as I, are looking for an escape from the everyday, an antidote, an oasis if you will, in the seemingly endless desert of the punishing, driving brutal music our ears have become so accustomed to, then you, as I, will like Violence is Golden, a cool as hell album that makes me damn glad I work for this site. I'm not going to lie to you. Music reviewing is a cool gig, and sometimes (sorry Neshamah), I have to review shit, but every few promos I catch an ear-whiff of an album that makes me feel lucky I've found a place to be exposed to stuff I wouldn't hear otherwise.

Scanners is a new-wavy London four-piece that have been around for the better part of three years, and sound nothing like any of the bands already mentioned in this review, though having the same name as a Canadian horror classic featuring an exploding head would suggest otherwise. I'd say they belong more in the New Wave of British New Wave vein that all the scenesters love these days. Just take a listen to "Raw" or "Lowlife" for instance. There's no reason why this band shouldn't have just as much acclaim or airplay as Franz Ferdinand or Scanners' labelmates Bloc Party. Part of Violence is Golden's charm is the contrast to the majority of debut albums released nowadays as it has more of a warm familiar tone that seems to be missing from their lesser peers.

This is due primarily to the wistful vocals of Sarah Daly, who manages to bring to mind the softness of Tanya Donnelly to the cool power of Colleen Fitzpatrick (pre-identity change) or Inger Lorre - often within the same song. The only weak spot really is the opening track, "Joy", but despite it being my least favorite tune, the goddamn thing won't leave my head. There's a whole mess of good stuff on here. Strong hooks, lyrics that aren't wince inducing - just a good ol' fashioned vibe that continues throughout the album. It'll be interesting to see what future releases hold.

Scanners – Violence is Golden cover artwork
Scanners – Violence is Golden — Dim Mak, 2006

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