The John Bills 100: 07

Posted on June 28, 2011

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07: Forget Cassettes – ‘Salt’

I first heard this band in a pub in Tartu, Estonia. It was a song from their first record, ‘Instruments of Action’, and it sounded bloody amazing, so I went up to the bar and in my best broken Russian asked what the music was. The barman wrote it down for me, and the rest is history. I cannot believe I had never heard of this band previously, and its an absolute crime that they were so unknown. This is an incredibly consistent and fantastic rock record. ‘Venison’ starts it all ok, the true story of Beth Camerons unfortunate encounter with a deer on the road, and it sounds like a story. Its a fantastic opening to the record, showcasing Camerons vulnerable honesty with lines such as ‘they say goodbye and good riddance, but I say its sad to be beautiful and hunted’. Then it builds and it builds and it builds and it booms. Its brilliant. It is followed by the drum fill opening ‘Quiero, Quieres’, and the second incredible quality of this record jumps out of you. The drumming. It is absolutely jawdroppingly good. The type of drumming that is technical and intense, but never ever detracts from the song, never tries to make a song all about itself, merely accentuates the song as drums should. This is perfectly shown on the single ‘The Catch’, a vitriolic attack on the lethargy from the US government surrounding Hurricane Katrina. This is followed by the albums standout song ‘Nicholas’, which builds from very quiet and frail beginnings into a frantic beast with Cameron wailing ‘in time you have lost me’. Stunning. I could go on and on about each of the 9 songs on offer here, whether its the yelps of ‘My Maraschino’, the beautiful imagery of ‘Lonely Does It’, the heartbreaking strained ending of ‘Patience, Beth’, the fantastic chorus of ‘Salt and Syncope’ or the daylight optimism of ‘Tabula Rasa’. This record is fantastic, everything about it is right. The drumming is perfect, the songs are beautifully put together, and Beth Cameron is an instrument in herself. Get it now.

Download: ‘Nicholas’, ‘Lonely Does It’.

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Posted in: John Bills 100