“Dream Date,” the lead single from Salad Boys’ Metalmania, is one of those rock songs that will stop you in your tracks. It’s good-time guitar music with a barely discernible melancholy streak, and I have often compared it to the Only Ones’ 1978 punk classic “Another Girl, Another Planet” — one of the highest possible compliments. “Dream Date” hit the internet two months ago, and the Christchurch combo shared the similarly punchy “No Taste Bomber” last month. Now, ahead of its release next Friday on Trouble In Mind, the whole album is available to stream.
As teaser singles, “Dream Date” and “No Taste Bomber” are slightly misleading. The rest of Metalmania maintains the same quality level, and that nervy power-pop sound rears its head elsewhere, most triumphantly on deep cut “I’m A Mountain.” But Salad Boys are just as likely to try something more low-key: Opener “Here’s No Use” is a light acoustic strummer that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Beatles LP, “Bow To Your New Sensation” cruises along at an easygoing country-rock tempo, and languid closer “First Eight” marks Salad Boys as kinsmen with Pure X. Just when you think you’ve got this band pegged, they’ll surprise you — especially if you let them lull you into thinking “Hit Her And Run” is the most minimal track on the album.
Metalmania is not a flashy record, but like the Clean — whose David Kilgour recruited Salad Boys as his backing band — or the Feelies — whose misheard lyrics inspired Salad Boys’ name — it merges garage rock’s pop and experimental sides in consistently rewarding ways. Check out the whole album below.
Metalmania is out 9/18 on Trouble In Mind. Pre-order it here.
[Photo by Jim Nothing.]