As much as talent and craft helps a band step out from the crowd having a sound with distinct character to it is just as potent a weapon. On the evidence of their new EP, UK alternative rock trio Saltlake has found that key. It may not have true uniqueness yet but there is no escaping a captivating prowess and enterprise which commands attention.
One of the first things the Medicate Me EP hooks ears with is the depth and expanse of its sound, a soundscape of electronic and electric drama which belies the slim number of the band’s personnel. It comes drenched in emotional intensity and a hungry energy which again only adds to its potency. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Henry Gottelier, bassist Liam Quinn, and drummer John Godly, Saltlake emerged from within the Sussex countryside and London suburbs in 2013. Medicate Me is our introduction to the band and takes short time in sparking an appetite to hear more.
It opens up with Badlands, keys and rhythms looming up on ears bringing a tide of riffs and melodic intrigue. The robust and enticing rhythms of Quinn and Godly probe and incite as Gottelier’s strong and alluring tones roar. As quickly familiar essences grab thoughts but only adding to the richness of the track in sound and tone as it simmers and boils with creative and emotive enterprise. Comparisons to the likes of Young Guns, Mallory Knox, and Bring Me The Horizon have been made with the threesome and it is easy to hear why through the EP opener.
The following Sympathy Apathy entices initially in a similar way to its predecessor if with less of an imposing trespass. It too casts a dramatic tapestry of sound swiftly upon ears, melodic suggestion wearing an early U2-esque hue to whet the appetite before Saltlake weaves their own individual theatre of sound and adventure. As with the first, there is a mix of the familiar and the fresh entwined to catch the imagination; creating a song which mixes unpredictable and recognisable flavours to push the release to another level.
Hourglass simmers and erupts next with melodic persuasion and emotive intensity, vocals as reflective as keys and guitars against the more formidable touch of rhythms. It is a track which just blossoms from moment to moment and listen to listen. The drama of synths and melody are matched by the prowess of voice and creative imagination fuelling a song where though there is something familiar nagging away with one of its key hooks, though still to be exposed in realisation as to why, it soon steals the limelight within Medicate Me.
The EP closes with its title track, a proposal rising from an electronic mist around a dark bass throb into an atmospheric heart bred croon prone to more volatile, ear grabbing cries of emotion and intensity. Even with its thick haunting air the song is as catchy as anything before it and brings things to a highly enjoyable conclusion.
As suggested, Medicate Me is a mix of the familiar and individual which increasingly impresses over time from a band which is heading the right way towards real attention.
Medicate Me is available through all stores now.
Pete RingMaster 16/11/2017
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