Call yourself something tongue in cheeky with a blatent drug reference like Salem’s Pot and you won’t find me sniffing around anytime soon. There are of course exceptions to this rule (Weedeater and Cannabis Corpse immediately come to mind) but for the most part it’s a naming convention I just can’t get behind. Maybe it’s because I can’t wear it on a shirt? That being said I find the goat name circlejerk in black metal to be too much as well so there is that? We may never know for sure. Regardless of my hangups, Salem’s Pot manage to place themselves on the list with Weedeater and Cannabis Corpse more than they do the myriad legions of other “dope bands” that exist out there. Thanks for that because I don’t think I could have handled another misfire.
Let’s get this out of the way first: I don’t like the first track. Apparently this is a recurring theme for me as of late, but it is what it is. “Tranny Takes A Trip” just doesn’t grab me like I think an album opener should or do much of anything for me (despite some cool vocal effects), but that lack of attention grabbing is quickly forgiven once “Just for Kicks” uh, kicks up. We’ve felt the hunger pangs as of late in the Graveyard, searching for a goth country band to replace Murder By Death since their last album turned out to be a lame duck . Obviously this whole release doesn’t cater to this aesthetic (there are two songs with a country bent to them) but when it does it’s really on. Dark spaghetti western Clint Eastwood fantasy now engaged.
The rest of the tracks on offer here sounds like the Stones and Floyd got together back in the day, recorded an album and then promptly forgot to release it. Possessing a rock and roll drive that keeps the songs ever moving forward, that doesn’t stop Salem’s Pot from pulling over and taking a Floydian pit stop every once in awhile. The swirling guitar work on “The Vampire Strikes Back” is a perfect example, grabbing listeners by their third eye and dragging them into the psychedelic whirlpool for a while before spitting them out on the other end.
“Coal Mind” holds top spot for favourite track on the album for me, a shifting instrumental beast that clocks in at 13 minutes of fuzzy guitar work. “So Gone, So Dead” is a close second for me though, being the second example on this album that dabbles in country music. Except in this case it doesn’t so much dabble as go in full force. Think the subtlety of a stagecoach driving through a dynamite factory. I can imagine this song is divisive because it’s so far out from the rest of the album but I love it. Salem’s Pot could do an EP that sounded like this and I would be an extremely happy person. Those who don’t dig on vocal twang and country shuffle drums beats need not worry, the song is the albums shortest at under four minutes.
Excursions into country aside, most people (at least those that find themselves on this site) should find something to jam out to on this time capsule of an album. Hit up RidingEasy Records to snag a copy. I can only imagine this sounds that much truer to the era on vinyl.
-Scotty Floronic (@drunkgraveyard)