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Salem - Salem
12” Pink Vinyl EP £14.99
CREEPER frontman Will Gould has joined forces with Matt Reynolds (Howard’s Alias, Skylar, Drawings) to create new project SALEM. The duo release their self-titled debut EP on October 23rd via Roadrunner Records UK.
First single ‘Destroy Me’ fires out of the starting blocks in a ferocious rush of punk rock melody and Gould’s distinctive vocals. His words possess the playfully eloquent set-up and punchline lyrical style that’s a big part of classic albums from the likes of Jawbreaker and Alkaline Trio.
“‘Destroy Me’ is a really good introduction that summarises the band, it had the right kind of energy from the offset,” says Gould. “This band feels like a love letter to a lot of our early influences. It’s a return to our roots in a lot of ways.”
Elsewhere, SALEM’s debut EP captures the life-affirming joy of hearing a live band erupt into a blast of wild, barely controlled energy. Not that it’s a one-trick pony. Opening track ‘Fall Out Of Love’ hurtles into the kind of towering chorus that Gould first made his name with, ‘Throat’ is an ominous, ever-escalating alt-rock slowburner, while the frenetic closer ‘Doomed (For Each Other)’ sprints for the finish line. And as with all good EPs, when the needle clicks off, the natural thing to do is to flip it over and play it again from the start.
Gould and Reynolds’ roots are both in Southampton’s underground punk scene. Gould has been a fan of Reynolds’ work since his time with Howard’s Alias, who were signed to the renowned Household Name Records in 2004-2005. They’ve remained good friends ever since, with Reynolds working as CREEPER’s guitar tech and even co-writing three songs from their Top 5 album ‘Sex, Death & The Infinite Void’ alongside Gould and the band’s guitarist Ian Miles.
When Gould was plotting the album – a labyrinthian Rubik’s Cube in which music, narrative and visuals were all indelibly interlinked – he wanted to blow off some steam. So, he called upon his old friend Reynolds to spend a day making music in the way he had done growing up: by rattling through some new songs just for the sheer fun of it, with no pressure and no greater goal in sight.
The songs went into the virtual vault. And in an ordinary situation, perhaps that’s where they would’ve stayed. Always eager to keep busy, SALEM was one of Will’s projects that came to fruition. And when the restrictions of 2020 are eventually just a bad memory, Gould hopes that SALEM will play live, with the core duo joined by Ranny Ransom (bass) and Aaron Graham (drums).
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