For Fans Of
Have/Hold’s ‘King Salt‘ is unique, which is an achievement in itself. When vocalist Luke Shields first enters in ‘Care’, his voice feels like a unique mix between Muse’s Matt Bellamy and The Pixies’ Black Francis, which manages to shift and mould throughout the entire album. Leave all expectations at the door, because this debut album somehow manages to appeal to fans of light to heavy all the same.
First single ‘So Sang The Whale’ is (as their press release suggests) a perfect introduction to the album; blending the feel of garage with the polished gloss of indie rock, it’s almost as if we’re sitting in a grunge fan’s carport filled with Marshall Amps and surrounded by beer chugging hipsters. ‘The Old Country‘ takes a dash of The Smith Street Band with its cries of, “Back to the Old Country” serving perfectly as a tune to throw a beer in the air and scream along to. The song’s vocal solo, followed by a cascade of guitars, cymbal crashes and frenzied guitar picking is a cathartic experience to say the least.
As tinges of despair lick at the edges of ‘Halley’s Comet‘, Shields’ vibrato vocals shimmer just before the band thunders on while he nearly screams, “I feel overrated!” When the chips are down, this is the song to throw on and turn up the volume so loud you don’t even realise you’re yelling along with him. King Salt’s drums are energetic without feeling too frantic, and the snares are noticeably crisp, which demand attention from wayward listeners. The guitar work hits grungy levels in ‘The Deep South East‘ and the album is all the better for it. Following track A History of Cancer’s bass heavy intro could pass for a 90’s SoCal punk riff, and wouldn’t be out of place in the upcoming Tony Hawk soundtrack. The extended instrumental jam at the climax of the track fits nicely as well, leaving the choice of whether to slightly nod your head, or full on boogie around the room. It’s entirely up to the listener.
Have/Hold’s ‘King Salt’ is for everyone and anyone. Any track could feasibly fit into multiple genres, whether it be sun drenched chill or straight up headbanging rock. Somehow coalescing all of this into an album that doesn’t feel haphazard, Have/Hold have managed to create a welcome ‘festival’ album. A bit of this and a bit of that all rolled into one highly enjoyable package that appeals to both the masses and the record snob at the same time.