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The Salads / The Big Picture

28-Jun-2006 12:03 am Contributed by: pete Music Reviews
The Salads - The Big Picture
10 Track CD, Release Date: May 9, 2006
Label: Kindling Music
[Speaker] Listen to Circles [Speaker]
Enema Rating: (6/10)
The Salads third full length album, The Big Picture, can be described in one word: Big. We're talking big vocals, big guitar, big bass, and big drums. Really, seriously quite big. During the creation of this CD the band suffered through having all their equipment stolen, including the computer that stored their recordings. Although devastating, they say they were able to get back to where they were within good time because they focused on the big picture, and in doing so ended up naming the album.

With their 2003 release, Fold A to B, The Salads managed to get good airplay on a local Toronto radio station, and also had a couple of songs appear in films and TV shows. The Big Picture is definitely a chunkier, heavier, and more consistent album. The lack of ska influences is noticeable on this album compared to their last, save for one song It's Alright. Even though this difference contributes to making their music sound a little more generic, it is a welcome change.

Darren Dumas' vocals are deep, full, and probably the band's most valuable asset. Lyrically their music is positively charged with themes of responsibility and change. Musically, there are some noticeable moments of 80's hair metal and guitar-riff cliches, yet there is a underlying strength to more than a couple of tracks. For example, Circles may not be their most upbeat song, but it does show off the capabilities of the band by starting off slowly and building with a catchy chorus melody and better-than-average lyrics that refer to living with Alzheimer's.

One amusing oddity is the track The First Time where, after 3 1/2 minutes of actual song, there is a silence followed by a hidden track. I know, a hidden track is in no way original, but The Salads chose to place their hidden material in track nine. Of ten. What it contains is a bizarre lesson in monster truck rock and experimental splicing, followed by 90 seconds of a recording of a phone call. Typical hidden track stuff - good for only one or two listens.

Anyone who has seen this band live says they area team of energetic crowd pleasers with an infectious stage presence and a sense of humour. The Salads will be playing as a part of the upcoming Warped Tour this summer, so if this kind of music is what you're looking for, The Salads may just be the right band to give it to you.


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