Saturday, 10 September 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Salem's Pot - "Pronounce This!"

By: Jake Wallace

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/07/2016
Label: RidingEasy Records


…a tripped out, fuzzy journey through the minds of these mysterious occult rockers, but hidden behind their disguises, there is a band who are certainly serious about making themselves heard and this release has all the necessary ingredients for the cauldron. Overall, 'Pronounce This!' is definitely a contender for one of the best releases of 2016

“Pronounce This!” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Tranny Takes A Trip
2). Just for Kicks
3). The Vampire Strikes Back
4). Coal Mind
5). So Gone, So Dead
6). Desire

The Review:

Swedish spooky psych outfit Salem's Pot are back with their latest release on Riding Easy Records. 'Pronounce This!' is a tripped out, fuzzy journey through the minds of the mysterious occult rockers. Hidden behind their disguises, there is a band who are certainly serious about making themselves heard and this release has all the necessary ingredients for the cauldron.

With 6 tracks resulting in around 50 minutes of eerie stoner bliss, 'Pronounce This!' delivers a huge variety of sounds and atmospheres. Their vintage style and well-established spooky vibe is something that people can appreciate and fans of this type of music will certainly get behind this release. In a world dominated by stoner rock/doom bands who are very similar, Salem's Pot stand out for taking a fresh twist on the old approach. Their fascination with horror emanates throughout the album and the freaky enigma is a great complement to the music.

The first track 'Tranny Takes A Trip' is a great opener as it sets the scene instantly with the creepy organ sounds and traditional psychedelic rock style. The breakdown has a great rolling guitar riff and the vocals soar overhead binding the lyrics to the sound. There are elements of Hawkwind present with the space-rock influences and some of the transitions are very reminiscent of The Doors. The last section of the song is a great jam with guitars and organs fusing together creating a very similar vibe to New Orleans' The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight.

'Just for Kicks' brings some other genres into the mix as Salem’s Pot seem to be able to work all angles into their craft. The track maintains the catchy, fuzzed out guitar riffs but the addition of some slide guitar brings some country/folk elements to the table. The organs hang nicely in the background and keep the ominous tones rolling through their music. There are some great transitions during the middle part of the track after the guitar solo which show the seasoned musical capabilities of this group. Around the 4 minute mark the track dies down and some effects are used in creating a very trippy backdrop to the slow guitar riff building up into a great doom section and when the drums kick in it's a fucking solid groove. The outro has another ferocious guitar riff and the rhythm section is on fire in delivering a great finish to the track.

The third track 'The Vampire Strikes Back' has a more traditional stoner rock sound with some great riffs which remind me a lot of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Greenleaf. One thing that Salem's Pot are very good at is keeping your attention, there are no boring, never-ending passages. It is constant barrage of great riffs, scary vibes and fluid transitions that never slow down or get boring in any way. Another breakdown around the 5 minute mark really emphasizes the horror themes as even the guitar licks sound haunting and eerie as the track comes to a close.

The longest track (12:47) 'Coal Mind' begins with another great doom section which shows that this band has everything to offer in this genre. They can quickly transcend from the upbeat blues/country sound to an absolutely filthy piece of slow doom metal. This is what makes Salem's Pot really stand out for me as some bands want to stick to a particular area and find their comfort zone whereas these guys are extremely comfortable in all areas. Around the 5 minute mark, the effects come back into play, fuzzing away and jousting with your sanity. Some delayed guitar creates another ominous sound and you can't help think that these guys could've provided a soundtrack to every horror movie ever. This track also leans heavily on the harmony guitar styles of Thin Lizzy and the Celtic-sounding riffs are definitely present. It winds down with that same gloomy doom section from the start which I personally enjoyed thoroughly as that intro was too good to just use once.

The penultimate track 'So Gone, So Dead' is a nice breath of fresh air after the sludgy ending to 'Coal Mind'. An acoustic country song might be entirely out of place for most bands, but yet again, Salem's Pot have found their niche and it works like a charm.

The final track is 'Desire'. Probably my favourite track from the entire release, it reminds me of a Black Sabbath/Pink Floyd hybrid which is precisely what I set out to find in life. The organ sounds and patient tempo of the track is highly reminiscent of some of Floyd's more psychedelic releases but the guitar tone and riff styling has Mr Iommi written all over it. It makes me envision a desolate church in the desert with spell-casting sorcerers flocking towards it slowly, their hexes permeating the night sky. The track winds down and just as you think you've had your share of unsettling, creepy organ... think again - the outro is more than enough to raise some final goosebumps.

Overall, 'Pronounce This!' is definitely a contender for one of the best releases of 2016. Salem's Pot have a very distinct sound and have caught the attention of the stoner rock/doom world with their remarkable interpretation of horror-laced, '70s psychedelic rock.

“Pronounce This!” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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