DWMS: Scars on Broadway

I can't believe it's been forever since I wrote anything for Tribalbeat, but I've been super busy with touring all summer. With polo starting up, it'll be best for me to make an entry.

This post is going to be a detailed analysis of "Lives" by Scars on Broadway, a spin-off group from System of a Down led by Daron Malakian. Ever since Dictator was released last month, this song has been stuck in my head and it won't go away no matter how many times I hear it. Although System has little hope of releasing a new album with Dictator out in stores, Scars on Broadway is there to help mend the wounds.

From my understanding, "Lives" is in G Phrygian Dominant, which is a major form of the Phrygian scale. In other words, G B D is your root chord. This mode is common in Central Asian and Middle Eastern music, and provides that exotic vibe to Western listeners like myself. It is a welcoming reprieve from the same Ariana Grande songs I keep hearing on the radio. While the basic rhythm and lyrics are simplified, and the song repeats itself a lot, the whole experience feels like a party.

As usual in System's (and by extension, their spin-off projects), there is a deeper meaning to the lyrics, and they (mostly) leave the analysis up to the listener. Themes related to the Armenian Genocide are common in their songs, and this one is no exception. Lyrics such as "We are the people who were kicked out of history." and "You will deny; we will verify." support this theory, provided the listener knows of the bands' histories and Armenian ancestry. Due to Jason's ban on politics on Tribalbeat, this will be as far as I go on the subject.

Pop Quiz: Without consulting a map, which countries border Armenia? List your answers in the comments below!

If you haven't listened to the song or watched the music video for it, here it is.


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