Salako - Reinventing Punctuation
Buy this CD from United States
Buy this CD from Canada
Buy this CD from United Kingdom
Buy this CD from
Reinventing Punctuation

Yet again I'm reviewing albums out-of-order for a group, but one more time I've found myself interested in a latter release by a group, so I go back and try to pick up some of their earlier releases. In the case of Salako, I picked up their Musicality release some time ago and liked their offbeat Beta Band verses Belle And Sebastian style, so I eventually got around to getting their debut. As might or might not be expected, it's a little more uneven than their newer full-length, but it still has a lot of the same quirky pop goodness that perked my ears up to them before.

Part of the reason it took me a little while to find the release was that it's only available on import (unlike Musicality, which also got a domestic release), and again it finds the group cramming a large number of songs (20) into a short amount of time (less than 50 minutes). They again twiddle with lo-fi acoustic numbers, strange sound effects, and bursts of noise and sing-song lyrics to get their fun songs across.

In fact, the album opens up with a song that sort of feels like yet another group on the Jeepster label in Looper. Although it starts out with a bit of an ambient drift, a twinkling guitar leads things off before a light drum and bass rhythm comes into play amongst some rather crunchy guitar. Even at that, though, the group keeps their sort of light, breathy vocals. The follow-up track "Words Are Not Useful" is a sort of a wistful ode to the future in which the vocals are strung-together in an almost stream-of-consciousness way that leaves the vocalist out of breath. "Glass Bottom Boat Rides" makes use of an all-too-obvious filter to create sort of an underwater effect with the vocals before "Second Age" finds the group creating a track that sounds like something you might hear at the dentist office.

Still, for every track that doesn't quite work, the group pulls off a cute (and I do mean that in a good way) track like the whimsical "Story Of Bill," the speak-and-spell flavored "Go On Then! Enighten Me, Why Dontcha?" or the completely goofy "Porpoise Sunlamp."(either of which, Looper fans would also eat up). Overall, it's a fun, lo-fi pop album that's a little less light sounding than their newer release, but a little less cohesive. If you're a fan of somewhat silly British pop, you could definitely do worse.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00