When sparking our instinctive appetite for noise rock/punk, leaving our ears ringing and imagination exhausted is a requirement and with ease we can say that From Melmac With Hate, the new album from French noise mongers Salo did that and more. It is an eleven track twister of sound which harasses and abrases at every turn yet it comes with a certain seduction which sooths the sores and calms the abrasions.
Lyon hailing, Salo is a trio which creates a tempest of sound from merging noise and punk rock with garage rock inclinations yet that still does not quite tell the whole picture. It is a proposition which is as infectiously friendly as it is voracious intrusive and has earned references to the likes of Metz, Thee Oh Sees and The Fall or certainly a combination of all three. As From Melmac With Hate immediately insists, they are mere hints in reflection of a sound which defies true comparisons as opener Guillotine proves.
The first track sends a sonic shard through ears before swinging in with an aberrant groove and rhythmic trespass. Urgency soaks its every aspect but driven by craft and dexterity and an enterprise which, as suggested, is as catchy as it is corrosive and for these ears comes over as more of a Kabul Golf Club meets Houdini meets Sofy Major onrush without again losing any uniqueness.
Fuel Injected Suicide Machine follows with a more leaden foot but is equally voracious in its appetite and confrontation. Riffs scowl and rhythms bite as the song continues to badger and bully whilst simultaneously inviting ears into its tempest with compelling hooks and vocal incitement while its successor, Algeria, commands matching attention with a more merciful yet intrusive sonic engagement. The guitar of vocalist Romano Krang casts an almost folkish breath in its melodic lures but proves as abrasing as the rhythmic incursion of bassist Carlotta Fiax and drummer Samy Delabre throughout.
The belligerent snarl of Jay alone had us hooked, its rapacious swing and Escobar-esque garage rock infectiousness irresistible whilst providing a salve to the sonic bitterness before Bring Back Medieval Plague uncaged its visceral indeed carnal intent with senses corroding irritability and predation. Yet it too bears a contagious inclination which had the body swinging even as it cowered under the nagging cyclone of sound coursing through ears, both tracks vying for favourite album moment.
Though it is all relative, a calmer repose is borne from Tasmanian Tiger (for Nikita), the track strolling along with a reserved swing as its rhythmic muscles flex and sonic winds howl. Caustic melodies and a breath of tempestuousness only add to the song’s compelling invitation, one greedily accepted with regularity as that of the album as a whole, Dick Hunter further evidence as to why with its atypical rock ‘n’ roll saunter and Swell Maps–esque punk clang. As many songs within the release, it nags and harangues with an addictive drone like quality, tendrils of infectious sound and galvanic incitement swinging from that incessant core of temptation as yet another memorable peak is forged.
Fakir has that same feral rock discontent, barging through ears with virulent grooving and rhythmic militancy but infuses it with unpredictable waves of corrupted melody and disquieting dissonance; a version of the tapestry of sound which makes each song an individually striking proposition as epitomised by the cyclonic clamour of Speed Missile. Earth fired rhythms bully and punctures the air as guitar and vocals scorched the atmosphere and our senses for further great pleasure.
Just as searing is the entrance of Knee Out, a track which soon reveals its rhythm & blues instincts for a milder but no less bracing incitement than what came before. With a touch of PowerSolo entangling with Big Black to it, the song proved a riveting infringement; success matched by album closing Raptors Cult and its senses singeing serenade which as we started with, alone left us with ringing ears and a lustfully aroused imagination and hunger for more. Barely a few weeks in to the year and we have been regaling with keen acclaim for numerous releases already, a list we can only lustfully add Salo’s new offering to.
From Melmac With Hate is out now via Bigoût Records; available @ https://salosalosalosalosalosalo.bandcamp.com/album/from-melmac-with-hate
Pete RingMaster 27/01/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review