People hate Salem. Are shrill about it. Last night while walking over to see Nachtmystium at the Knitting Factory, a friend and I discussed it. (It was mostly me explaining why I love them, to be fair.) On the basest level, if you were into Royal Trux’s junkie-chic, you should be OK with Salem’s persona — “bad” live performances, supposed “privilege,” and all. (Can we really shout “privilege” in a room of indie rockers without 3/4 of the place falling?) More importantly, the warped atmosphere they create is electric, drowsy, weird, addictive. As I mentioned when posting “King Night“:
You get Screw fueled by twice the cough syrup (and a Dennis Cooper novel). Starless deep-South mythologies filtered through Traverse City/Chicago street culture. They establish an elegant, pristine goth shoegaze that now and then drops out weird, introverted dance anthems. Or deep, bowel-shaking bass rumbles accompanied by warping atmospherics. A real sense of dirt. (The songs come off like field recordings for the back alleys in Trash Humpers.) … They tap a darkness and a romantic bleakness, the kind of thing I’ve found so attractive, in a different guise, via black metal or deathrock…
Really, King Night is one of the best albums of the year (and far more interesting than the majority of schlock and cheap nostalgia garnering 2010 headlines). I’m also really into the forthcoming oOoOO, aka San Francisco producer Christopher Dexter Greenspan, EP, so his remix of “Asia” — the song that comes after that “O Holy Night” introductory lift — is a double treat. He suffocates it. Then teases it back to life.
The original’s video: