Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: 7th May 2021
Returning after last year’s self-titled debut EP, goth-punk duo Salem are ready to welcome the world even deeper into their creation. Still mostly following in the footsteps of Will Creeper’s home base in consistently taking things to the next level, this second dose is quite simply no holds barred fun.
A frantic and pulses-racing burst of exuberance, it’s all great but the first single was called ‘DRACULADS’ – five stars just for that, please. Not to mention the completely submerging, fists-flailing punk-rock running towards the future, armed with a nostalgic twinkle in its eye and a heart in the past.
The opening ooh-wah-ooh’s of ‘William, It Was Really Something’ (that title sounds oddly familiar) immediately lathering on a thick helping of melodic goodness before the pace hits breakneck speeds. The melodrama of ‘DRACULADS’ leans into Will Creeper’s penchant for the smirking macabre. As does everything else, actually.
‘Keep The Thorns’ and its repeated mantra of “I’ll disregard the rose, but I’ll keep the thorns” is already itching to be tattooed on arms all over the land. ‘Sweet Tooth’ takes a stand with its euphorically maniacal sound, and closing the procession is ‘Heaven Help Me’, more wide-eyed fury that doesn’t hang about, barreling onwards until an abrupt Hollywood star end.
The rapturous eulogy encompassed within ‘II’ makes Salem so much more than sad punks. They’re sad punks who are Very Good at writing songs.