Salem albums





King Night – (4.5 / 5)

“Whatever Happens, happens” screams the opening of “Release da Boar”, and there could not be a better phrase to sum up this record. The album is a sublime mix of shoegaze atmosphere and Hip Hop, if there ever was a thing mixed before. The only precedent I can think of would be the psychedelic trips of Cocorosie or the madness stew cooked up by Dalek. When sounds are this desperate either it completely works or it completely does not. What is intriguing to me about Salem (the trio of John Holland, Heather Marlatt, and Jack Donoghue) and their album King Night is this: homemade albums are going to become more and more common in the coming years.

What King Night does, and hopefully provides a great template for, is proving just because it is lo fidelity and cheap sounding it can still have great sense of purpose and great influences. Just upon listening it reminds me of Cannibal Ox, Slowdive, and Frank Zappa. One listen to a song such as “Trapdoor” can prove all of this: pitch altering vocals, weird synth effects, gloomy atmosphere. The sequence of songs is great too, luring one further and further into a world of sound effects and grime. Does it sound like a bunch of spoiled meth smoking white kids made a record with Pro Tools in their dad’s basement? Yes. Is it a brilliant send up of the serious approach to music most artists go for? Undoubtedly.

Greatest Tracks – Trapdoor, Killer, Frost, Release da Boar