Salem King Night

Salem King Night
After a string of seven-inches and remixes, Salem have finally dropped this, their debut full-length. Creating chopped and screwed tunes for the indie set, the Midwestern trio have been heralded as the originators of a new genre ― "witch house" or "drag" ― and derided as the next Teenagers or Black Kids. Detractors would argue they're too focused on creating a musical aesthetic than listenable tunes, something their spotty live shows support. King Night is unlikely to cause any massive shifts in musical taste, but it's very good. Opener "King Night" sounds like a club banger for the apocalypse, the keyboards creating ghostly melodies over bass dragged across a rock quarry. The high female vocals soaring overhead are the only thing keeping these tracks from falling into oblivion. "Sick" comes closest to the kind of Houston hip-hop tracks from which the band draw so much inspiration. "Redlights" is also included, in case you missed it the first couple of times they stuck it on record. But where it was the obvious standout on both previous releases, here it fits in nicely with the album's other tracks, such as "Frost," showing that the band have stepped up and started writing real songs. King Night is an exhausting listen, resembling the kind of haze you feel after waking up with a really bad hangover. But it's ultimately saved by its dark, unusual hooks. (I Am Sound)