Christchurch, New Zealand’s Salad Boys are back with “This Is Glue”, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2015 debut album “Metalmania”. Recorded once again by bandleader/guitarist Joe Sampson at his home studio, This Is Glue’s twelve songs dig deeper, with sharper hooks embedded deep within a more mature musicality.
This Is Glue, released by Trouble In Mind Records, hones Sampson’s songwriting chops to a razor edge, with many of the album’s songs sounding utterly timeless. The riffs and melodies seem all too familiar, perhaps recalling greats that came before them (The Chills, R.E.M., The Bats), but Sampson has a voice all his own (though sonically it reminds me of Eels’ Mark Oliver Everett) and This Is Glue’s tunes tread upon a singular path of measured melancholy. The themes are darker, the lyrics more claustrophobic and yearning with Sampson confronting anxiety, mortality, and fear through the his abstract lyrical lens; a cracked world view, to be sure. Songs like “Exaltation”, “Dogged Out” and “Divided” convey a world-weariness of a man twice his age. That’s not to say that This Is Glue is all doom and gloom; album opener “Blown Up” kickstarts with motorik drumming that crescendos into a thrilling guitar riff that could crack mountains. “Psych Slasher” crashes forward frenetically awash in phaser before easing into a melodic denouement buoyed by a bubbling synthesizer before a tidal wave of guitar crashes down again. Existential angst has never felt so exhilarating.
This is Glue follows their debut, Metalmania, which was quite good. As previously mentioned vocally it reminds me of Eels at times and musically reminds me of Deerhunter, though Deerhunter-like grooves are’t the overall flavor of the album. Check out this Deerhunter-like jam here from their debut:
You can buy the new album via Bandcamp here.