Ever since Metalmania dropped a few years back, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of New Zealand’s Salad Boys. What I didn’t expect was a record that was good in every single way, and hopefully establishing the group as one of the stronger bands in the guitar pop realm. Take a song like “Psych Slasher;” it hits hard from the get go, rushing distorted jangling guitars, but just as you think the band are here brandishing a bursting tune, they pull it back, ever so slightly to reveal a soft blanket of pop. Overall, this is a balanced effort, from the spoken word stylings of “Scenic Route to Nowhere” to the bright jangling pop of “Under the Bed,” all indicating a band hitting peak form in songwriting. Press play below, and you won’t hear a bad tune; This Is Glue is available this Friday via Trouble In Mind.
We’re just about to wrap up the musical year with lists and all sorts of silly lines, but in looking ahead to next year, Salad Boys are high on my list of anticipated acts. We get a new tune from the band today in lieu of their impending This Is Glue. One of the things I’m most excited about is that the group seem to have fleshed out their style; this song has this youthful urgency in some of the vocal delivery, though it pulls back for a calming interlude that’s filled with melody and synths. They jump to the end with one more bit of ramshackle rock…and like me, you’ll be thirsting for more. The LP drops on January 19th via Trouble In Mind Records.
While we were out galavanting at ACL, this Salad Boys tune quietly dropped in our laps, and regardless of who covered it then, I’m tossing it up today. Metalmania went largely unnoticed, but that mostly has to do with our own poor efforts, as it clearly was a notable release in my book. Now the New Zealand act are prepping This Is Glue, and if ever there was a modern band that encompassed the region, well, then this surely would be it; listen to the way that guitar runs in circles around your inner ear, matched by a sublime soft melody. Look for the new LP to drop on January 19th of the next year via Trouble In Mind (who else)!
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
ACL Festival is still in town, still going down. But, we’re letting B. Gray get the glory for our team with his camera work. Still, despite the attraction there, you’ll find tons of really incredible local shows you need to attend, including some great album releases by some of Austin’s best (in my opinion anyways). Here’s a quick rundown of the highlight, and we hope you consider attending at least one of these show. Read more
We seem to be in the era of jangly rock and roll. That is to say these days have brought the indie rock scene to a point in which the norm is now those angular workings of guitar riffs in whatever genre you like; there’s the stoner rock of bands like Mac Demarco, or more tightly wound pop groups. Regardless, in order to stand out, you’ve gotta make the jangle your own, taking it in a direction different than before. Enter Salad Boys of New Zealand, whose sound ranges within the genre, from laid back to melt your face off in the mere jump of a song on Metalmania.
This group of gentlemen open the album with a delicate sound on “Here’s No Use–” with the winding guitar work that won’t quit and the urgent yet soft vocals of Joe Sampson, the song seems fairly subtle at first. The drums are barely there, merely gentle clicking to match the rhythm of the guitar as it loops in its neat and clean sound. As the track progresses, the elements gain a bit of traction; secondary vocals join the mix and the guitars are doubled up to round out the opening track. The next song, “Dream Date,” shows the other, less chilled out, rock side of Salad Boys– the guitars are faster and heavier, drums join the mix, adding a thick layer of percussive sheen with the abundant crashing of cymbals.
These two directions of tracks seem to account for the direction of sound that Salad Boys take on this record; you get the laid back sun-bleached indie rock of the first track, or the more high-energy rock of the second track. Each style seems to suit the band’s sound fairly well, and the back and forth doesn’t feel like whiplash as it does a trip through changing terrain, soft and lush at one moment and biting rock the next.
Most signs point to Metalmania to be a grower of an album– while each track is pleasing to the ears and begs for you to play it outside at a barbecue or driving around in your car with the wind blowing through, there aren’t clear standout tracks. Originally, I thought it was when the band ripped into the rockier side of their sound, but those with mild tonality seem to grasp my attention just as much. Perhaps in time, these numbers will be apparent, or perhaps the tunes on this album are a little too mild. Regardless, I look forward to hear what Salad Boys have in store for us next.
Salad Boys, who hail from New Zealand, are getting ready to release their debut LP called Metalmania, and if you haven’t already taken a listen to their jangly garage rock, it’s time that you get on the same page as the rest of the world and take a listen. This track, “No Taste Bomber,” is a mostly jangly garage rock hit, but near the end of the song, the band really hits their stride, and they give you a rad guitar solo that makes you forget that the track started so mellow; it will melt your face off. Take some time to get acquainted with these gentlemen below and lookout for their album coming on September 18th via Trouble In Mind.
I feel like Trouble in Mind Records are trolling me lately, picking up on the talent of yet another Oceanic band, Salad Boys (after already working with Dick Diver). It’s actually a good thing, because there’s a lot going on overseas that deserves a wider audience. Take this first single from New Zealand’s Salad Boys, which has the band rocking some of the best bits of straight ahead rock n’ roll I’ve heard this year; there’s no prefab concept, it’s just strong songwriting. I particularly enjoy the way the guitar works its way right through the core of the song. It should make for a really interesting listen when the group releases Metalmania on September 18th via the TiM.