LOUDER REVIEWS:'Salem' - Salem
Most commonly known as the frontman of Creeper, Will Gould is no stranger to the alternative music scene - but with Creeper’s newest release ‘Sex, Death & The Infinite Void’ being a theatrical concept masterpiece imbued with more genres and Influences that I can count on both hands, he has enlisted the help of close friend and guitarist Matt Reynolds to return to his roots and create ‘Salem’, a powerful and punky release of pent-up energy.
Their debut self-titled EP is a fast-paced, fantastical punk rollercoaster - tinged with gothic imagery and darkly romantic lusty lyricism remindful of films like 1989’s ‘Heathers’ - and it is so much fun. Across its 15-minute runtime, ‘Salem’ offers up five of the finest goth-punk love songs you’ve ever heard.
A multitude of in-your-face chant-driven choruses - which feel almost made to be yelled in the smallest, sweatiest rooms you’ve ever seen - form the backbone of this EP. The opening track ‘Fall Out Of Love’ starts slow - Will’s vocals aching and, as always, incredible - before breaking into swift, drum-driven rock which is so energetic it feels almost scandalous to be listening to it when NOT in a circle pit. This track also includes a fantastic break towards the end of the song which is one of the standout moments of the record, dramatic and almost Rocky Horror-esque in its perfect campiness.
This leads into ‘Destroy Me’, catchy and consummate in its reminiscence of the early days of Creeper - and ‘Throat’ is another killer chorus. Perfectly emo, strikingly vulnerable and the kind of unfairly effortless level of ear-worm which will have you singing along almost instantly - a trend that you will definitely notice as you work through the EP. I mean seriously - you will be humming these songs for days.
‘Eyesore’ and closing track ‘Doomed (for each other)’ are both calling out to be crowd surfed to, with their anthemic choruses and lyrics so perfectly romantically gothic - think Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’. Every single track carries the spooky yet high-spirited and pure fun energy of a kid who ate way too much candy on Halloween: Bubblegum Punk - It’s a perfect fit.
I genuinely can’t wait to see the future of Salem and I certainly do hope that there’s more of these lively punk tunes on the horizon, because I - also much like a kid with candy on Halloween - cannot get enough.
FOR FANS OF: My Chemical Romance, Creeper, Alkaline Trio, AFI
'Salem' is out now via Roadrunner Records - You can find it here.