Thanks so much to Rubin Mathias at Sinusoidalmusic for posting this great review!
Dark Soul Safari is the avant-garde rock project of London based musician Adriaan van Heerden. Heerden was raised in South Africa. While growing up he learn several instruments and started songwriting from an early age. He has a PhD in Philosophy from King’s College, Cambridge University and is a prolific and acclaimed international award-winning photographer. After his single Dance of the Demented Spiders of Saturn released in 2015, Dark Soul Safari returns with his debut EP Running With Scissors.
The album begins with That’s How I Roll which is a laid-back rock song. The song begins with jangly rhythm guitars with a smooth bassline at the back. The song is smooth and has a steady beat. The lyrics describe the thrill of zooming along in the vehicle. The devil is chasing the driver and wants him dead. The song narrates a road rage scenario and delves into the psyche of the narrator with a somber musical touch.
This is followed by the title track which commences with reflective sounding leads. The butter-like lead guitar lines over the rhythm and sparse rhythm sets the mood. What follows is a dark and mellow sobering ballad. The lyrics on this one are deep mentioning the impending ecological apocalypse. The earth will only be fit got cockroaches and the crow as we say goodbye to forests and snow while the billionaires depart on their lifeboats to mars. The song ends on an up to rhythm and galloping bass.
The third track Jim The Priest is a satirical take on religious leaders. Here we have church choral humming in the beginning before the jangly guitars come in. The lyrics speak of how preachers in the name of religion dupe their followers vulnerably suppressed by the pains society inflicts on them. We hear gospel aspects in this song with its characteristics like clapping, choirs, etc.
The fourth and concluding track of the EP is Still Chasing Windmills. The song is based on Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Don Quixote. Here a man who is in his latter years and elder age ponders on his past ill-fated exploits which end in misfortune. Despite these lapses, he maintains faith and hope. The song flows like an epic with its story-like narrative journey. It transports us into the setting and has folk song feel to it.
The cover artwork features a monochrome Heerden looking through orange glass tinted goggles. This sets the serious retrospective mood for the EP. Running With Scissors is a record that flows in its musical storytelling. We hear some great sustained chords and production on the title track. The big note ending perhaps signals going away with a bang. The record is masterfully produced by Top 10 producer/ engineer Andy Brook. Dark Soul Safari’s Running With Scissors is an EP that explores human beings at the end of their limits.