Published Jun 27, 2008Ive always wondered how Bruce Springsteen would sound if one of his songs was covered by a gothy bunch of shoegazers, and low and behold, now I know!
Salem are a twosome from various cities across the U.S. who are probably the greatest thing Ive discovered this summer. I say theyre gothy shoegazers but thats only half of their deal. They also screw and chop their shit, adding a strong and otherworldly crunk element to their sound. It sounds pretty fucked up, but thats because it is fucked up beautifully fucked up.
Having just signed to the newly launched Acephale (founded by Patrik North, who worked for Summer Lovers Unlimited), they recently released their unfairly limited edition EP, aptly titling the thing Yes I Smoke Crack. And oddly the duo have two MySpace accounts. Fittingly its a "his and "hers arrangement, dividing the individual styles. "He likes the Southern hip-hop flavour, slowing everything down to give the vocals a demonic overtone, and truth be told, it has as much in common with dubstep as it does anything. "She favours haunting melodies and ethereal textures with programmed beats that suggest Liz Fraser is now fronting the Knife. This divide will no doubt produce a very interesting full-length, if and when the time comes.
This tribute to the Boss, however, is "her song, and also an interpretation of the heartbreaking "Streets of Philadelphia. Keeping that famous slow beat for the opening, once the synths come in, its as if youve been struck down by that twist in a David Lynch film. The vocals are icy but not detached, almost like an angel in a meat locker laying down her track. Its barren, spooky, unsettling and sublime.