Album review: The Salt Riot, ‘Dead Star’

The Salt Riot - Dead Star coverArtist: The Salt Riot
Album: Dead Star
Our Verdict: 9/10
Release date: Out now
Find it at:
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

An experimental engagement with the superb full length debut album from Seattle trio The Salt Riot

“I am not the things you see / I am only frequency (You can’t hear me) / I cannot blatantly / tell you truth that you can’t see (you can’t see me) / If you look will you see / the me in you or the you in me?”

A single bolt of lightning arcs across the sky as sheets of rain sweep in beneath the unrelenting march of blackened thunderheads. Boats sway off the shore in the choppy tide, whipped up in the wind speeding across the bay. The chiming harmonics of a lone guitar cut through the heavy atmosphere like purifying drops of holy sonic grace.

“‘Cos you don’t even know who you are / You don’t even know who you are / ‘Cos we don’t even know who we are / We don’t even know who we are”

The light from a Dead Star journeys across the galaxy, witnessing celestial events across multiples of millions of miles, reaching across time to human eyes. Burnt out, the star lives on as the people witness the past at the speed of light. Anchored by gravity, the rumbling of drums wakes them from their sleep; entropy destroyed by energy.

“Living in times of cliches and vice / Carefully dissecting your life / What’s right / Watching the whispers, they spread / Like vines / The cameras, the angles, the lights / The lies”

A boy walks blindly along a bleached-out sun-drenched street, his fragile veneer shrouding barely concealed apoplexy. He kicks the edge of the kerb, his feet clad in plaid-patterned, dusty, scuffed Converse All Stars. The static in his head is silenced only by the spiky bass-line of a song he once heard, coming back to him like shards of violent light carving up an endless sea of beige.

“And I cant empathize with your humanity / And I only materialize my vanity / And we melted all the family trees / And we stung all the birds and bees and refugees”

A girl stares into the mirror that looks unceasingly back at her. The party rages on behind the closed door. She redefines her very being as she gazes at each of her physical attributes long enough that they cease to be a part of her and become meaningless, nameless shapes. Her look is broken by the gritty authenticity of a singer with a bleeding heart that she hears in the distance.

“Twisting and turning your life away / Burning the beacon of light / won’t stay / Chasing and churning / Your strife / Obeyed / The weightless memories of time / Betrayed”

The musketeer looks on at the hollow faces of the malnourished townspeople, their sunken eyes flitting left and right in panicked desperation. He hears himself refuse the instruction of the governor to disperse the rioters, and fear cuts through him as he sees an enraged man produce an axe from beneath his cowl. As the weapon swings down, the musketeer senses a physical shift in the atmosphere, the fabric of time shattered by waves of a futuristic musical sound that he does not recognise or understand.

“Did you get there? / Did you get there? / We will all be gone in the blink of a lie / We will all be gone in the blink of a life”

The fierce and impassioned band of travelers stand on the boundary of the Emerald City, their bodies singing with the vibration of red-hot splinters of incandescent rage. They’ve been tripping through the freezing coastal night, the heavens reeling overhead. They hear the call of the people imprisoned in the ennui-inducing suburban wasteland before them. With grace and determination, surveying this complex and dizzying land, they lift their instruments and begin to play…

Theirs is a cleansing fire of guitar, bass and drums. A warming and potent distillation of an alternative Seattle sound. A trio of artisans with a fuse; a spark; an explosive fuzzed-up invocation of a rebellion against the Boyars who have become bloated in their counting houses, counting out their money. They bring light and love; freedom and purpose. This is their mission.

This is The Salt Riot.

The Salt Riot are: Julia Vidal (vocals, lyrics, guitars, violin, and synths), Jack Machin (bass, audio mixing, co-producer) and Nick La Pointe (percussion).

“Dead Star” was recorded and produced with veteran David Miner at Chartreuse Muffin Studios. (Two songs, “Would You Walk?” and “Giver” were recorded and produced with Jack Machin at Mighty Maverick Studios.)

Connect with The Salt Riot at:

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

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