Scars on Broadway

In a wry comment on his reputation as a doctrinaire zealot, System of a Downer Daron Malakian kicks off the side project he shares with SOAD drummer John Dolyman by delivering "Serious," whose hook declares, "You're too serious for me." He's doesn't mean it, of course; any humor here is pure black. Yet Scars' debut succeeds because it allows Malakian to subtly tweak his main band's formula. By System standards, "3005" sounds almost normal, except for lyrics that offer the president, Jesus Christ and Charlie Manson a round of applause for all being "nice." Still, there's no shortage of brutal cleverness — like concluding "They Say," and the album as a whole, with the feverish declaration "Thank God it's all about to end." Most listeners will have the opposite reaction.

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