Manchester based psych-rockers Heavy Salad release their debut LP, ‘Cult Casual’. Chocked full of surf-rock beats and overdriven guitar, ‘Cult Casual’ sucks you into its psychedelic vortex of wonderfully off-kilter pop music.
Opening up the album is, ‘Death’. In stark juxtaposition to the title, the track it an upbeat slice of tremolo heavy dream pop. This guitar tone accompanies the exceptionally warm vocal tones luring the listener into a false sense of security, before dragging them down the bands own rabbit hole. Following on from this is, ‘Battery Acid’. This again maintains the albums hazy sound, its blissful indie-pop with snarky edge that can be found within the tracks lyrics. The repeated, cult-like chanting of, ‘melt yourself’, clashes with the horn filled choruses of the track brilliantly.
This is not to say the album is made up only of dreamy guitar hooks. ‘Reverse Snake’ features haunting guitar riffs, angular and disjointed whilst still fitting in an uncomfortable manner. Here the vocals take a back seat and allows for the guitar to create a deeply atmospheric tone. This is not to neglect the slight funk twang within the drum beat, only dragging the listener further down into the band’s psychedelic hole.
As the album comes to its conclusion, tracks, ‘Slow Ride’ and ‘It’s Ok To Bleed’ mark the albums return to its upbeat and dream pop sounds, with the latter being perhaps the albums strongest cut. Light and breezy with a definite air of melancholia, it’s refreshing after the sheer intensity of the albums main portion. The sense of optimism that lies within the albums sadness is a fitting way to close out proceedings. It’s as if Alice has left Wonderland.
‘Cult Casual’ is a rabbit hole of a record. Rammed equally full of wonderful dream pop and haunting jagged acid rock, the album strives to leave a lasting impact. It imprints its own distorted dreams behind and makes the listener wish to travel back down the rabbit hole.