ep review ~ 'it's aliiiive!!!' ~ salad boyz

Genre: Salad-Core//Grunge-Punk 
For Fans Of: The Descendants, Weezer, Parquet Courts
Location: Belfast

SALAD BOYZ really couldn't care less what you think. The four piece, born out of a mutual love of punk and riffs (and seemingly salad) have came out of nowhere on a four man mission to shake up the local music scene. 'IT'S ALIIIIVE!!!' follows the feel and energy of the 'plastic America' backlash of the early to mid 90's. Seattle had Nirvana, Boston had Pixies, hey even the disconnected LA kids had Weezer to hold onto. These band's sang about their angst towards the looming 21st century with wit and charm, even when it was masked beneath a sea of feedback. One feels SALAD BOYZ roots lie firmly within this turning tide, screaming for change and the man to fuck off.

'IT'S ALIIIIVE!!!' is a live Ep of real warmth, character and frightening energy. Showcasing the band's debut gig, in all it's raucous glory. was a clever move and with each listen more details emerge of this mysterious, underground act. 'LoudCrowdWowed' is a distortion heavy, jump and down call to arms; frontman Tommy Haghighi's lyrics remaining brilliantly relateable throughout. 'Dankatron 20000' see's The Descendants influence begin to emerge, as a punk-styled melee erupts. The prospect of a room full of people singing this back to the band is very exciting indeed. Even 'Balls', encompassing 15 seconds of screaming, has a charm you can't really explain. Think 'Crash & the Boys' classic 'I Am So Sad, So Very, Very Sad' from Scott Pilgrim VS The World. 'Gone Fishin' follows a similar path (including the brilliant line 'Salad powered so efficient') . Then, out of nowhere, you're hit with 'T-4-2' and everything you thought you knew about this band is thrown out the proverbial window once more.

A simplistic, Pixie's style strummer, 'T-4-2' is a simply beautiful ode to  life's darker times. Again, Haghighi's introspective lyricism cuts deep here, but when wrapped around lead guitarist Simon Gilbert's strikingly melodic lead line, a feeling of hope remains above water. There's even room for some harmonious backing vocals from bassist C-More Major, who's falsetto compliment's Haghighi's dynamic style excellently. (A Plastic Rose-esque, perhaps?)

  'Empty' too, stands out on this record. More aggressive than it's predecessors, 'Empty' see's the SALAD BOYZ frontman claim he's 'not eloquent enough to explain this pain' ~ on the contrary, it's his 'heart on his sleeve' style that will see their fan base grow. Held together by an exhilarating performance from drummer Michael Alexander, who remains steadfast under every potential pitfall of this debut, 'Empty' must surly have been marked down as a set closer from the second it was written. Punchy, forceful and clearly emotional, it's a sign of just what SALAD BOYZ could become.

Eat your greens, SALAD BOYZ are aliiiive and kicking.

Taylor Johnson

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