Indie [Release date 25.09.20]
South Of Salem hail from Bournemouth, consisting of vocalist Joey, guitarist Fish and Kodi, bassist Dee and drummer Pip. You can get some idea of the band’s music with the choice of producer Scott Atkins, who has previously worked with Cradle of Filth, Amon Amarth and Sylosis. South Of Salem like it dark, gothic and full of riffs.
It is not all serious goth/horror as Joey explains “The album title is a play on ABBA’s 1980 hit ‘The Winner Takes It All’. Mixing the tongue in cheek puns along with such heavy subject matter gives everyone a chance to relate in their own way. On a personal note we chose the album title because all the band members have been to hell and back with our lives in recent years.”
The band don’t shy away from controversial topics, be it gaslighting on ‘Cold Day In Hell’, or mental health issues on ‘Demons Are Forever’. I assume ‘Another Nail In My Coffin’ they are being tongue in cheek with lines such as ‘All I wanna do is stop you breathing’. It is a damn fine tune, the melodic edge of the Wildhearts coupled with the punk of say the Damned.
‘Dead Hearts Don’t Break’ and ‘Made To Be Mine’ (“I dug you up and took you home” – indeed!) reminded me of Fearless Vampire Killers, another band who could come up with a strong melody and lyrics that have wider appeal outside of the band’s expected fan base. There are even Bon Jovi aprroved ‘wooahs’ on the latter.
South Of Salem may have seen their live plans curtailed for now, but they will be a force to be reckoned with once the live scene gets up and running fully. Something a bit different and all the better for it. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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