Review: Saliva – 'Love, Lies, And Therapy'

‘Fuckin’ with my head again, Can’t stand the person you’ve become’; The opening lines of ‘Trust’ give us the instant insight that these are not going to be throwaway lyrics, but lyrics with meaning and passion. The dynamics of ‘Trust’ are very clever, with very nice guitar work, especially the tasteful licks and riffs in the quieter verses that give the chorus something to jump at you from, although it’s as though Saliva are holding back a little, just whetting our appetite for what the rest of the album holds. ‘Tragic Kind Of Love’ hits you over the head with a metal hammer blow before melting into an almost ballad-type verse that once again explodes into another anthemic chorus. I’m beginning to think that singer, co-producer and sonwriter, Bobby Amaru, has been choosing the wrong ladies, as ‘Bitch Like You’ blasts out of the speakers. Ah, the tortures of being a rock star!!! Once again we are treated to a story that is not only worth telling, but is told in style. The chorus melody really reminds me of Gun’s version of ‘Word Up’, while the verses, again, are skillfully taken back to the fingerpicking guitars that lull you into a false sense of security before being, once again, blasted with another anthemic chorus. I am going to jump ahead a little, as I was curious that the press release I recieved headlined the feature track to be a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘They Don’t Care About Us’. I have to say that they were right to headline and feature it. It is a very good version with Amaru impressing with his range and power, the rest of the band also really showing their versatility (Wayne Swinny on guitars, drummer Paul Crosby and newest member Brad Stewart on bass). ‘I’m losing everything, call the doctor’ ‘Rx’ opens up with a tale of a drug and alcohol-filled relationship, which seems to be a very personal tale. This is what really pulls you into the song, small snippets of Amaru’s life that flash past us, giving fleeting glimpses of the dark side of rock ‘n’ roll. This is most definitely how I like it, songs with meaning, telling a story, and performed with passion and honesty. ‘Breakdown’ took me a bit by surprise. Acoustic guitars, violins, and harmony vocals, but not in a ballad style. Very much keeping the Saliva identity. It’s a bit like listening to the ocean, the way it waxes and wanes, builds and breaks down. A beautiful track… not a word I thought I would use in this review but there it is… beautiful! With ‘Go Big Or Go Home’, normal service is resumed. Chili Peppers meets FNM once again. A fluid track that works it’s magic with another anthem chorus. Power and melody in a perfect package of musical goodness. ‘Loneliest Know’ brings back the acoustic vibe, but builds this time into something very special. Again, a track that just… flows. I cannot think of another (or better) description. As a musician myself, I really appreciatte the nuances involved in creating a track like this. It would be so easy to get it wrong… make it cheesy, but Saliva get it very, very right, and create something very special indeed. The closing track ‘Hand In Hand’ makes use of all of the above. The acoustic subtlities combined with anthemic power, but still telling a story with honesty and passion. I know these are words I use often, but for me, it is what I am looking for whilst listening to music. If it’s contrived, or just plain cheesy, then my brain switches off, but if I can connect and understand, then I engage and want to know and hear more. As is the the case with ‘Saliva’, these guys just ooze honesty and passion. I will always lap up that kind of conviction and want to listen to the story, as should anyone, but I don’t want to preach, only advise, and I strongly advise you to check out Saliva. You will not be disappointed. Review: Simon Larkin]]>

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