Salem – Salem II

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Overall Score: 9/10
songs: 9/10
lyrics: 8/10
replay value: 9/10
Pros: another fine collection of pristine pop punk
Cons: virtually nothing

Salem’s sudden emergence at the latter half of 2020 was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal year. Their debut self title e.p strode in like a candy coloured blast of fresh air. Another big bonus came in the form of them being able to play socially distanced gigs, giving fans the chance to hear the e.p live in full.

During those gigs fans were treated to 5 other brand new songs, and if you are anything like me you have been trying to get them out of your head for the last 8 months. Fans pondered how long it would be before they would have to wait to hear the full recorded versions of the new songs, thankully their prayers have been answered and Salem are back with a second self titled e.p Salem II.

Unshackled by expectations and lofty ambitions Salem deliver sublime pop punk jams for people whose hobbies include oujia boards and vampire fan fiction.

This is a band who penned the impossibly cool DRACULADS after all.Sounding like the soundtrack to a back alley fight between punks & greasers, it lives up to every bit of promise it’s name suggests.

Keep The Thorns is an ode to doomed love and deals in the kind of widescreen melodrama that put Creeper on the map. Sweet Tooth is one of the catchiest songs you’ll hear this year. It will burrow in your head and you’ll probably need to perform an exorcism to remove it.

Heaven Help Me brings the e.p to a close in storming fashion, with a 2 minute burst of punk rock bliss that will give you whiplash but leave you wanting more.

Over the course of 2 e.ps Salem have made quite the impression. Delivering some much needed fun in dark times, as well as providing some essential tracks to put on your summer goth playlist. You have to imagine somewhere Matt Skiba is playing with a voodoo doll of Will Gould, as he continues to make his claim for the crown prince of goth punk. Where Salem go from here is anyone’s guess, but on the strength of these 2 e.p’s alone, it’s a journey i’d more than willing to join them on.

Salem II is out now via Roadrunner Records

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