Saltlake – ‘Medicate Me’ (Regent Street Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Thursday, 30 November 2017 04:20

Saltlake artworkCan someone enlighten me as what in the name of all the owls in the forest is “alternative rock”? I mean, is it just me, or is it either rock, or it’s not rock? What’s the alternative? The bullshit and dross that populates for what passes as the pop music charts these days?


OK, rant over… but the trigger for it is the fact that this Sussex trio brand themselves as just that – “alternative rock”. And, on first listen to this, their latest EP, I guess by that they mean the sort of polished, arena-filling sound developed in recent years, most notably, by the likes of Alter Bridge, Theory Of A Deadman, Nickelback and Shite… sorry, Shinedown (mustn’t let personal feelings get in the way here, Monk).


Well, whatever they call it, Saltlake do it very well. Well enough for DQ to prick her ears up during a marathon photo editing session and ask, “who’s that?” – something she only does when she likes what she’s hearing oozing from the giant PA at URHQ! Yes, it is very polished, especially in the production – but, then, the mix needs to be precise and almost clinical, to draw out the many layered nuances which exist within these four songs, which actually are more reminiscent of the likes of Muse than any of the above-referenced acts.


Underpinning each of the tracks is a solid and credible rock sensibility: the drums of John Godly lay down a very firm foundation, over which Liam Quinn’s bass rumbles and occasionally thrums with a nice warmth to its tone. Topping all this off are Henry Gottlier’s layered guitars and vocals: and herein lies my only problem with this attractive little package – there is just so much going on, so many strata of sound laid on top and around each other that I just can’t help wondering how on earth they can ever dream of replicating this live.


Still, as I said, this is an attractive little package. The songs are beautifully crafted, with some nice catchy hooks and choruses, especially on punchy opener ‘Badlands’ and the closing title track, the musicians are flawless and possess the appropriate dynamism to make the material work, and the production is luscious. I must admit that I wouldn’t be averse to some more from these guys…


‘Medicate Me’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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