"Play It Forward" (Cleopatra; 2022)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have loved Soil for over twenty years and, when I heard they were going to record and release a covers album, I have to admit I was more than a bit skeptical. However, after only one run-through, I found myself really fucking into "Play It Forward." One reason is the tracklisting, which I have included below:
"Runnin’ Down a Dream" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Thunder Kiss ‘65"  White Zombie
Nightmare" Halsey
No Voices In the Sky" Motorhead
Snap Your Fingers" Prong
Monkey Wrench" Foo Fighters
What it’s Like" Everlast
I Wanna Be Sedated" The Ramones
Rockin’ in the Free World" Neil Young
Unsung" Helmet
Black Betty" Ram Jam

You're probably with some, if not all, of these tunes—but not the way Soil redid them and made them (almost) their own. Soil is one talented band and they seem to come up with new ways to do music that is a bit west of norm. Frankly, that is what I like about this band.

If you dig Soil the way I do—or any of the bands covered on this recording—check out "Play It Forward." It is a heartfelt tribute to some really great music with a few curve balls thrown in to make it even more interesting.

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"Whole" (Pavement/AFM; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I've been a fan of Soil (actually spelled SOiL but let's not get technical) for a long time. Soil's first release, "Scars," put them on the map back in 2001 and they've pretty much set up camp since then. A few line-up changes over the years haven't deterred them from smashing your metal head against their sound and "Whole" is appropriately named since original singer Ryan McCombs is back at the helm. He fronted Drowning Pool for a while.

From the first teeth-busting riff of "Loaded Gun" you'll hear Soil at their best. Ryan commands the mic and he won't let up till he's got your attention -- and he's got a lot to say so you'd better listen up! The guitar grit of Adam Zadel will have you reaching for your six string; his solos are solid and will leave "Scars" if you get too close. He's got a mean sound coming from his guitar and he's got plenty of squeals and harmonics to make you lean in for a second listen.

Each track on "Whole" has a brutal vibe. Ryan and company have set in motion another great metal record.

SOiL: Ryan McCombs - vocals; Adam Zadel - lead guitar, backing vocals; Tim King - bass, backing vocals; Mitch Gable – drums.

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"Redefine" (J Records; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Soil's "Redefine" is a perfect example of a band that has grown and learned from their previous work, "Scars." The music here is compelling and tight, full of power chords and catchy lyrics. Any music that can get me to do my famous (infamous?) air guitar is worth its weight in gold. Music this good is few and far between. 

Of course, the lyrical content is a bit dark and depressing - with images of obsession, lost love and heartache - and that does drag the endeavor down a bit. Still, all in all, "Redefine" rocks hard and is even better than the previous recording - and that's no mean feat. 

Soil: Ryan McCombs - vocals; Shaun Glass - guitar; Adam Zadel - guitar/vocals; Tim King - bass; Tom Schofield - drums. 

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"Scars" (J Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Sometimes when you first hear a band that's new to you, something just clicks. Well, when I first spun Soil's "Scars," it instantly clicked. 

Soil is powerful, explosive music with plenty of soul and songs that are easily identifiable thanks to the band's excellent storytelling ability. The connection I felt with the music was instantaneous and complete: I am now a Soil fan. 

The title of this CD is "Scars" and the band displays theirs throughout this release. Everyone that has ever loved, lost, lusted, won, has been cheated and has risen to the top can identify with this music. It simple leaves me breathless. "Scars" is powerful music that must be a killer live show. The presentation is flawless and complete, the vocals strong and compelling, the music moving and lyrics that are full stories - almost like watching a great movie or reading a good book. 

Soil is Ryan McCombs vocals, Shaun Glass guitar, Adam Zadel guitar/vocals, Tim King bass and Tom Schofield drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2022 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.