ALBUM: Salad – ‘The Salad Way’

After an absence of almost two decades, UK alt-rockers Salad have returned to take on the world “The Salad Way” with their long-awaited new LP. From their formation in 1992, until the day they decided to disband in 1998, Salad had released two records: their 1995 debut, Drink Me, and its successor, 1997’s Ice Cream. Now, with an amended new line-up, Salad is back on the menu.

Performing acoustically as a duo from 2016 onwards under the name Salad Undressed, vocalist (and former MTV Europe veejay) Marijne van der Vlugt and guitarist/backing vocalist Paul Kennedy had an itch they needed to scratch. Enlisting the help of long-time collaborator Donald Ross Skinner to provide new beats, original bassist Pete Brown for his infectious groove, and 96-98 touring guitarist Charley Stone for her searing guitar riffs, Salad’s comeback album is a combination of quality ingredients that has resulted in a fresh, varied sound that extends beyond the usual lexicon of established Brit-pop genre conventions.

This isn’t a record to appease existing herbivores; nor is it an attempt in Brit-pop revival. I doubt Marijne or the rest of the band really give a shit. Instead, The Salad Way is thirteen tracks of relentless post-punk infused with renewed collaborative creativity. Opening with their latest single, ‘You Got The Job’, Salad re-establish themselves as purveyors of buoyant pop melodies, underpinned here by a sense of romantic insecurity. “The golden kisses of summer keep me going through winter / I store them up in my treehouse… You got the job!”

‘In The Dark’ sees Salad meets Sabbath with scuzzy guitar hooks, doom-like drum strikes, and a more relaxed tempo, before Marijne lays into Paul for rambling on during a radio interview preceding the abrasive third art-punk track, ‘Details’. “I’m sick of all your details!” Don’t worry though, guitar ballad ‘Your Face’ offers us much needed breathing space… That is until Salad begin pummelling us in said face with ‘Vadim’s Slipper’, a track that sees both Marijne and Paul writing outside of their comfort zone.

Next, Marijne goes full throttle on keyboards for ‘Merryland’, tackling the fantastical with inescapable energy. “There was a place called Merryland / I used to live there / Picked up the keys from a Killer Whale / Two eyes, no legs, big grin…” Scratchy guitar solos punctuate this disastrous tale of marine life before the band transition to the more personal ‘Welcome To My World’ – a song which touches upon Marijne’s arrival to the United Kingdom as an adolescent: “In 1978 / New language on my plate / Difficult to relate / Welcome to my world.”

Flipping over to Side B, Salad continue to surprise with ‘Don’t Expect Things Not To Be Scary’, fusing syncopated funk basslines with rhythmic guitars to create mad musical science: one-third disco anthem, and two-thirds freak dance party. A pulsating bassline dominates first single, ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ – a post-punk opus inspired tongue-firmly-in-cheek by the music fanatics’ clothing of choice. “I worry about child labour / But I needed a t-shirt / Put it in a paper bag / You can recycle that later.”

‘The Inside Of My Head’ is an honest acceptance of weakness; a melancholic insight to the headspace of the band, whilst the remaining three tracks – ‘Wayward Thinking’, ‘Lovesick Energy’, and album closer ‘Time To Escape’  – perfectly exemplify what ‘The Salad Way’ is: a continuous stream of weird and wonderful consciousness, propelled by a rocket-powered expulsion of creative energy. But most importantly? The Salad Way is that thing called rock and roll, and the band came to fumigate your soul.

The Salad Way is out 30th August via Three Bean Records.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Photo Credit: Tim Topple

PLAYLIST: July 2019

Whilst we’re still in the midst of a mind-melting heatwave here in the UK, we’ve thrown together some fresh new music on our July playlist that promises to soothe your sunburned ears. Take some time to scroll through our track choices and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the bottom of the page…

BEA1991 – ‘Loser Wins’
Amsterdam-based artist and musical polymath BEA1991 has swept me away with this track, taken from her debut album Brand New Adult which is out now. I love her subtle, soaring vocals and there’s a beautiful accompanying video to this track that I recommend you check out. Bliss. (Kate Crudgington)

Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’
The new single from Derby-based artist James Machin – aka Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’ is a collaboration with Umbilica’s Jo Lewis, A soaring, cinematic soundscape that sends shivers down the spine, it explores discussions of gender, sexuality, feminism and the role of allies. Identifying as non binary themselves, Machin explains: “… [gender] is an issue I’ve wanted to explore in a musical dialogue for quite some time. It’s quite alarming when you realise how great the gender disparity is and how our culture is divided in binary terms.(Mari Lane)

Noga Erez & ECHO – ‘Chin Chin’
A dizzy, laid-back take on the links between sex and money; Noga Erez’s latest collaboration with Israeli MC and producer ECHO brims with off-kilter beats and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Erez combines intimidatingly cool vocals with her trademark defiant flair on this new release. (KC)

King Hannah – ‘Crème Brûlée’
The impressive debut single from King Hannah, ‘Crème Brûlée’ is as utterly moreish as the dessert it’s named after. With its sweeping ethereal power, majestic twinkling musicality, and the longing, impassioned vocals of front woman Hannah Merrick, it’s a stunning introduction to a band who I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from very soon. (ML)

Elliot Lee – ‘Dirt’
‘Dirt’ is the latest single from Brooklyn based Elliot Lee – a big slice of dirty pop which narrates the frustration towards those who don’t understand how much music means to people. (Tash Walker)

Kitzl – ‘Wizard Girls’
‘Wizard Girls’ is the latest release from Canadian producer and composer Kitzl, described as a shining offering, combining elements of ambient-electronic-pop, art-pop and experimental shoe-gaze. I’m into it. (TW)

Jenny Hval – ‘Ashes To Ashes’
Sacred Bones signee Jenny Hval’s new single is an enchanting, uplifting electronic affair. The track is taken from her upcoming album, The Practice of Love, which is set for release on 13th September and I can’t wait to listen to the record in full.(KC)

Sui Zhen – ‘Perfect Place’
Inspired by how we exist in the digital age, ‘Perfect Place’ flows with glitchy beats and twinkling, ‘80s-inspired hooks alongside Sui Zhen’s quirky, honey-sweet vocals. An instantly infectious slice of sparkling alt-pop. Zhen recently contributed a Five Favourites feature for the website, and because she couldn’t narrow it down to five, we also put together a banger-filled playlist of all her favourites – check it out! Sui Zhen’s upcoming new album, Losing, Linda, is out 27th September. (ML)

Arthur Moon – ‘Reverse Conversion Therapy’ 
Fronted by Lora-Faye Åshuvud, Brooklyn avant-pop group Arthur Moon are set to release their self-titled debut album on 2nd August via Vinyl Me, Please. ‘Reverse Conversion Therapy’ is another example of Lora-Faye’s “deconstructed pop music” which celebrates the queer impulse, and takes ownership when it comes to “breaking the rules” and doing things wrong – something we should all embrace a little more. (KC)

ZAMILSKA – ‘Hollow’
Polish Producer ZAMILSKA released her third album Uncovered this month, and it’s a densely hypnotic record permeated by her fascination with levitation. The result is thirteen richly textured tracks that seethe with “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”. If you’re a fan of industrial or electronic music I recommend a listen. She’s my new music obsession. (KC)

Deep Deep Water – ‘Something In The Water’
Having recently wowed crowds at Glastonbury, London-based four piece Deep Deep Water have now shared blissful new single ‘Something In The Water’, and we can’t get enough of it. Flowing with whirring soundscapes and soaring, harmonising vocals, it’s an utterly euphoric creation, twinkling with a majestic splendour. Of the track, the band explain: “‘Something in the Water’ is about change… Something is making you act differently, strangely, in a way you can’t explain. It is change out of your control, you are rendered powerless.” (ML)

Daniella Mason – ‘Deepest of Wells’
Deep, synth-based melodies from Nashville-based Daniella Mason, taken from her EP Mental State – it’s so hauntingly addictive, once you’ve heard there is no going back. (TW)

Greentea Peng – ‘Downers’
The new single from South-East London’s Greentea Peng, described as “A disillusioned confession to self, my London city blues. A tune for us hedonistic youths searching to feel nothing, but who actually feel everything. Instead of getting you to sleep – I’m tryna wake ya up.” (TW)

Anna Wiebe – ‘I Felt It In The Wind’
‘I Felt In In The Wind’ is the latest release from Anna Wiebe taken from her recently released album All I Do Is Move, and I can’t stop listening to this emotionally evocative track. (TW)

Salad – ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Salad’s ‘Under The Wrapper’ is about exposing what we are sticking in the sand, and shoving under the carpet. With its gritty, post-punk energy and tongue-in-cheek deadpan vocals, it’s a unique euphonic delight, proving that the ‘90s band have still got it and are still capable of pushing boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit. Salad’s upcoming new album, The Salad Way, is out 30th August on Three Bean Records. (ML)

Track Of The Day: Salad – ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’

Having been going their separate ways for nearly twenty years, in 2017 ’90s band Salad were offered a festival date and soon reformed to start recording new material. Now, they’re set to release a long-awaited new album next month and have shared the first taste of what we can expect from it.

Exposing what we are sticking in the sand, and shoving under the carpet, ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ is propelled by a gritty, post-punk energy and whirring scuzz as catchy hooks and tongue-in-cheek deadpan vocals build to a jangly fusion of sounds. A unique, euphonic delight, this new single sees Salad return to fine form, proving they’re still capable of pushing boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit.

The idea for ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ came to founder member and guitarist Paul Kennedy in a rush of inspiration one day as he popped out to buy a cheap T-shirt: “I worry about child labour / But I needed a T-shirt  / Put it in a paper bag / You can recycle that later.” 

The Salad Way, the upcoming album, is out 30th August on Three Bean Records. Salad will be playing at Starshaped Festival:

31st August – Manchester, O2 Ritz
7th September – Newcastle, O2 Academy
14th September – Birmingham, O2 Institute
21st September – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Tim Topple

Track Of The Day: Salad – ‘The Selfishness Of Love’

Having been going their separate ways for nearly twenty years, in 2017 ’90s band Salad were offered a festival date and soon reformed to start recording new material.

Of the new material, latest track ‘The Selfishness Of Love’ is the first song they recorded all together, and it showcases a band at the top of their game, despite their time apart. Filled with the scuzzy whirr of guitar and racing uptempo beats, it flows with soaring sultry vocals and swirling jangly melodies as nostalgic ’90s vibes ooze alongside a fresh, gritty energy. An instantly infectious, uplifting indie anthem, with this latest offering, Salad have proved they’re still capable of pushing sonic boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit.

‘The Selfishness Of Love’ is out now, and we can’t wait to hear more new material from this crisp, revived band. And, if you get there quickly, you may still be able to catch Salad live tonight at Islington O2 Academy along with GIHE faves Colour Me Wednesday.

Mari Lane
@marimindles