Chicago’s hard hitting rock quartet SOiL are well into their third decade of their incredible music year career. Beginning with their blockbuster major label debut album, 2001’s ‘Scars’, which featured two monster hit singles, ‘Halo’ and ‘Unreal’, SOiL have maintained a devout following by focusing on what they do best, writing and playing some of the most visceral and melodic rock by any modern band on the scene!
Now these veterans are giving their fans a special treat – a new studio album, entitled ‘Play It Forward’, consisting of some of the songs that inspired them throughout the years. The album will be released on August 26th, 2022 via Cleopatra Records.
Man, 2001… that doesn’t make me feel old. Although it is wonderful to see SOiL still going so strong and having some fun. After all, this album is all about having some fun, while paying tribute to some their influences and inspirations. Some of which might surprise you!
Kicking things off with a rousing rendition of Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down a Dream, SOiL are on fine form already. Transforming a beloved rock and roll classic into something with a bit more bite. Vocalist Ryan McCombs is sounding immense here but the chunky rhythm is what really gets the attention.
The joy of a cover album is you really never know what might come next, so to see it’s White Zombie’s Thunder Kiss ’65, is grin-inducing. Just stop and think about that for a second… this is SOiL covering a White Zombie song! It shouldn’t work but SOiL are far too talented to not make something of it. Which they really do.The same goes for their version of pop-star Halsey’s Nightmare, one of the album’s most unique and catchy efforts.
It’s not all completely out of the ‘metal’ wheelhouse though as SOiL have plenty of influences there too. Having a good go at Motörhead’s No Voices in The Sky, a rare deep cut that SOiL really add their own stamp too. Ryan (smartly) doesn’t try to imitate Lemmy and the former’s style really transforms this head-banger.
The lovable Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck by Prong comes next and, while it’s a familiar cover these days, SOiL make their version one of the stronger covers we’ve heard. Before the group pay tribute to Foo Fighters with a blistering and memorable version of the classic song, Monkey Wrench.
The most unexpected cover on this album? Everlast’s What It’s Like. A genuinely intriguing cover that sees SOiL take it nice and slow, letting the song’s nuances wash over, the lyrical content to stand out, going harder in the chorus and letting Ryan’s vocals to soar.
It’s time for a ton of gruff punk energy with a cover of the classic Ramones song, I Wanna Be Sedated. Before Neil Young’s Rockin’ in The Free Word comes out to play and SOiL get downright groovy. Then it’s back to a more metal orientated cover as Helmet’s Unsung gets the cover treatment and SOiL get that bass working hard.
Leading to a very cool closer in the form of Ram Jam’s Black Betty. A track that you either love or hate it seems. Although SOiL might make you fall in the former camp if you currently find yourself in the latter. The guitars are nice and meaty, Ryan is really bringing the energy with his vocals and the drums add some heaviness to things. A fun closer.
It’s a blast of an album, a welcome addition to the SOiL back catalogue, where it’s clear the band enjoyed themselves. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this!
SOiL – Play It Forward Full Track Listing:
1. Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty Cover)
2. Thunder Kiss ’65 (White Zombie Cover)
3. Nightmare (Halsey Cover)
4. No Voices in The Sky (Motörhead)
5. Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck (Prong)
6. Monkey Wrench (Foo Fighters)
7. What It’s Like (Everlast)
8. I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones Cover)
9. Rockin’ in The Free World (Neil Young Cover)
10. Unsung (Helmet)
11. Black Betty (Ram Jam Cover)
SOiL - Play It Forward (Cleopatra Records)
The Final Score - 8/10