SALAD are back. I first saw them support Ash at The Forum in Kentish Town in 1998 and became an instant fan. I remember them particularly standing out on a ‘free with the NME’ compilation cassette tape. Oh, let’s take a minute to remember free compilation cassette tapes….simpler times. So that’s my early memories of Salad.
I’m happy to report that the band’s latest album; The Salad Way, is all the right kinds of nostalgia. Tracks such as ‘Your Face’ and ‘You Got the Job’ are both very different but instantly take me back to attending countless gigs in the 90s, buying my copies of Select Magazine, the NME, Melody Maker and The Face whilst sporting my Adidas Samba’s with holes in. ‘Under the Wrapping Paper’ is the album’s first single to be released and is the perfect retro indie pop-punk track with a “cheeky Motown beat” to quote the press release. Addictive backing vocals, creepy piano at the end, what’s not to like?? I love the story behind the song title; founder member & guitarist, Paul Kennedy became inspired from popping out to buy a cheap t-shirt.
Salad formed in London in 1992 with a debut album, Drink Me, in 1995. The original line-up (Marijne van der Vlugt, Paul Kennedy, Pete Brown, Rob Wakeman) parted in 1998 but they since became friends and returned in 2017, with Van Der Vlugt, Kennedy and Brown joined by Charley Stone and Donald Ross Skinner for the new LP. Marijne van der Vlugt’s vocals are great – strong, bold and that brilliant blend of Debbie Harry, PJ Harvey and Miki Berenyi from Lush whilst maintaining her own distinctive Euro-pop-rock sound. I’ve loved listening to this album, and I already know it will be worth seeing live. It’s experimental and varied but still has that 90s indie Salad sound that we so know and love. We need Salad back in our lives.
The Salad Way is out now on Three Bean Records.
Salad play Star Shaped Festival at the Birmingham Institute on September 14th and London 02 Kentish Town Forum on 21st September alongside fellow Britpop luminaries Cast, Dodgy, Space, Geneva, Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) and Chris Helme (The Seahorses).
Review by Jo Overfield