4

An insipid EP to avoid

For a band that has received glittering endorsements from the likes of Kerrang magazine, Welsh act Sal produce a surprisingly unoriginal, unmemorable and unappealing take on power-pop music. Whacking up the distortion, increasing the volume and playing the "female-fronted" card as of it were going out of fashion, the quartet promise much but deliver very little.

Opener 'In Love' is a song akin to being followed, on an amnesic trudge through a swamp, by a twat with a cymbal: a musically boring, plodding number, complete with irritating drumming and droning vocals galore that quickly fades from memory as soon as the ordeal is over. Lyrically focused on tried-and-tested themes the track is the epitome of unspectacular.

Confused and disorientated after one song, I frantically look for a trace of the group that has been described as Garbage's "heir apparent". There are no melodically infectious riffs, foot-tapping basslines or mouth-watering hooks to be found on the record, nor can it boast innovative lyrics, creative structures or indeed anything else to set them apart from their peers the whole thing is unremarkable and uninspired. Front-woman Cat does have a powerful voice, but even her tiresome vocal masturbation is not enough to save this release.

Sal are a straight-up rock band that offer nothing new or exciting to an increasingly saturated genre. Playing insipid, wall-of-sound rock music, the band actively push their female-fronted image as a depraving means to notoriety. Though I have nothing against female-fronted bands I'm all for equality I find bands that over-promote their front-women in order to carve a niche are a touch distasteful, and this only escalates my apathy for the group.

An insipid EP to avoid.