Asking this reviewer to
give his opinion on a female fronted band is a bit like asking my fellow Welshman
"Rt Revd Rowan Williams" to join the back of a queue for a gokkun
video shoot. We're both way out of our depth.
For all my love of music you can probably count the number of female singers I genuinely like on one hand. And that list includes the likes of "Wendy O Williams", "Joan Jett", "Aimee Echo" and "Miss Guy"(sic), not "Hayley fucking Williams"
So, it's with some sort of relief that I find myself increasingly enthralled by the vocal charms of "Cat" lead chanteuse of South Wales very own "Sal".
"Conversations with My Therapist" is the bands second full album for Copro Records, following hot on the heels of the recent Ace (Skunk Anansie) produced "Infatuation" EP and the rather splendid accolade of having penned a James Bond theme in the shape of "Devil May Care". This track alone is worth you exploring "Sal" it's a twisting and brooding 3:38 of near perfect pop/rock perfection that still stands as the bands key to unlocking mainstream success.
Likewise, album opening
trio of "Get Your Facts Right", "Swallowed Pride For Hollow Promises"
and "Jekyll and Hyde" pack a sugar sweet one two three punch that
sets them well ahead of their Welsh scene compadres in the "who can write
the hookiest tracks "competition.
All three strangely remind me of "Pat Benatar" at her rocking best, and I bet you won't get the mainstream reviews picking that one out.
"Sal" do manage to lose me when they dip into melancholy where the "Tori Amos" influence gets too much, and I see myself flicking tracks "Demons" and "Perfection", but then you get the kooky bristling charm of "Ordinary Guy" to perk things up and I'm smiling again to a track that certainly wouldn't have looked out of place on the "Breaking Glass" soundtrack.
"Sal" like to
describe themselves as Pop Punk, which I actually think does their true musical
potential a bit of a disservice.
"Sal" have a very realistic chance to crossover, especially if they can pen 5 or 6 "Devil May Cares" in the future, and I certainly look forward to that.
The world is your oyster "Sal", now go out and take it on.
3 ½ out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the Sal Website