Words Adam Cooper.
When I first received the debut album from Salem’s Bend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A three piece from the City of Angels conjured up pre conceived notions of what I thought LA was about. What I heard upon first listen was something totally different.
I actually thought I’d been visited by the ghost of Phil Lynott and he’d become mates with Fu Manchu, Blue Cheer and King Crimson. They were in a smoke filled share house, kicking back, head nodding to each other whilst appreciating the beauty of Led Zeppelin 4.
The opening track ‘Balshazzar’ sets the tone for a late ’60s early / ’70s fuzz-a-thon which continues throughout the seven track offering.
I really loved the Iommi-esque, fat, simple, catchy driving riffage especially in ‘Queen Of The Desert’ and ‘Silverstruck’. The dreamy sequences and loose, desert type moments of ‘Sun And Mist’ (reminiscent of The Doors), were also a highlight, although I felt those moments were a rarity and wanted more. The playing and production were sporadic at times, which is not a bad thing and added to the retro feel of the album.
There are quite a few acts doing the retro stoner thing right now and to be able to hold your head above the pack you’d need to be standing out, not fitting in would be my only concern.
I look forward to hearing more from these hep cats and keen to see if they can take their cool stoner grooves to the next level. Overall a good first hit out and a great addition to your collection for fans of this genre.
Salem’s Bend self-titled debut album is OUT NOW through Ripple Music HERE.