I can’t get enough of these Riding Easy Records bands. The elusive Salem’s Pot from Sweden are about to come out with their sophomore full-length, Pronounce This! The title is probably a reference to the name of their first album …Lurar ut dig på prärien, which is hard to say for someone who doesn’t speak Swedish. I listened to the band a bit before this album landed in my digital lap, but I was mostly unfamiliar with them.
The first element that struck me was the paranoid vocals. The singer has this world-weary delivery, filled with voice cracks and shrills. This style really fits the dreary mood, with lines like “There is no future, pacifists will need a gun” and “Society is the reason why you want to take drugs“. The music is usually pretty depressing and the heavy riffing and keyboard textures make for an ominous vibe.
The record weaves between late 60s/early 70s fuzz rock and traditional doom metal. The mix makes for great variety, kind of a microcosm of the overall doom/psych/retro/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it scene today. The songwriting is simply catchy and invigorating. The group never lost my interest. They always have something up their sleeves next, whether it be the occasional melancholy strumming or a busy stretch of spellbinding playing. Also the keys give the riffs a punch, music like this makes me wish every band has key player on hand just in case.
“Coal Mind” is my favorite tune. It has a really threatening gloomy intro, then moves into a jumpy, quite groovy section, while still maintaining a frantic sense that looms throughout the album. “So Gone, So Dead” continues the depressive themes, but is a country song. I’m not really into country (besides Johnny Cash), but I enjoy this short number probably because of the heavy sensibilities of the band members. I always like it when metal bands break up the doom and gloom for softer sounds. The last track, “Desire,” just gets down right sad. An entertaining song, but still just really in the dumps.
This album has totally won me over with Salem’s Pot. The band knows exactly what they want to be and they do it well. I look forward to the opportunity to see them live. Another great metallic export from Sweden!
1. Tranny Takes a Trip
2. Just for Kicks
3. The Vampire Strikes Back
4. Coal Mind
5. So Gone, So Dead