Album Releases Album Reviews

SOiL – Play It Forward – Review

Label: Cleopatra Records

Release: 26 August 2022

Genre: Hard Rock


Adam Zadel – guitars, backing vocals, 
Tim King – bass, backing vocals,
Ryan McCombs – lead vocals,
T.J. Taylor – drums,

Track list 

1. Runnin’ Down A Dream    
2. Thunder Kiss ’65    
3. Nightmare    
4. No Voices In The Sky    
5. Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck    
6. Monkey Wrench    
7. What It’s Like    
8. I Wanna Be Sedated    
9. Rockin’ In The Free World    
10. Unsung    
11. Black Betty    

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. Neil Young’s anthem ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ should be covered by every band going as it’s an undeniable classic. The Foo Fighters  ‘Monkey Wrench’, in honour of drummer Taylor Hawkins also stands as a great reminder of who and what the Foos were back in the day before they became the stadium destroying beasts of recent years. Covers of tracks from White Zombie, The Ramones, Leadbelly and more importantly for me, Motörhead’s ‘No Voices In The Sky’ from their brilliant and criminally underrated ‘1916’ proves that this is a carefully considered collection of songs.

Check out this version of Halsey’s ‘Nightmare’ if you want more proof, a track I personally never thought I’d be adding a review about!


According to SOiL bassist Tim King, the band’s label, Cleopatra Records, approached them with the idea to record a covers album. Given they’d only really ever covered ‘Black Betty’, one of the ‘if all else fails…. let’s record this one’ classics that everyone seems to pick, it’s clear that SOiL really aren’t known for recording other artists songs.

The end result is less direct copy of the original but a variation with enough intact to remind us why the original was good enough to warrant re-doing. The album, as with all covers albums will divide the fan base and be a curiosity to the wider music buying public. It’s also the reason why the band have had to stay a little middle of the road with some songs, ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and the afore mentioned ‘Black Betty’ being classic examples. For me though and the global audience of fans who worshipped Lemmy and Co. and rightly so, the inclusion of a Motörhead song that isn’t ‘Ace Of Spades’ is the leftfield move that could easily win the game for the band. The biggest moment of disbelief for me is that the original was released over 30 years ago… now I feel very old. 

The cover of Neil Young’s classic is a great example of a band showing fans of the original and fans of the band how two styles can combine with the final version really being Rockin’ in SOiL’s World. Check out the audio below:

Depending on your viewpoint of covers albums you’ll either love it or hate it. Personally I’m sold and that’s wholly down to the unlikely choices made by the band. The obvious covers draw me in, the unexpected ones keep me hooked. I’ll take that combo any day.

‘Play It Forward’ will be released on all formats on the 26th August 2022. Two album designs were created for the release: a ‘cassette’ design that will be used for the CD packaging and a ‘skeleton’ design that will be used for the first vinyl pressing. A second vinyl pressing featuring the ‘cassette’ artwork will be released in September.

Score 8/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Hextall

















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