Salem's "King Night" will premiere at Origami Vinyl
Local indie label IAMSOUND has spent much of 2010 re-asserting its dedication to L.A. bands. But its biggest effort this fall involves the impressively gloomy Michigan electronica trio Salem, the bellwethers of the second-most-unfortunate genre name of the year.
Salem trades in ostentatiously evil synthesizers, the chintzy drum machine patter of rap producers like Shawty Redd and pitch-tweaked vocals from singer and bandleader John Holland that evoke both Fever Ray and Bun B simultaneously. Salem's geniusly titled early EP "Yes, I Smoke Crack" cemented their sinister bedroom electro-doom, and Holland's unnerving presence evokes something of a pansexual, rap-addled William-Blake-as-drug-kingpin antihero. He gave an absolutely astounding interview with the Dutch gay men's magazine Butt that documents the real-life source material for all this; unfortunately, we can't link to it, but it is well worth looking up.
Early bits of "King Night" suggest the band only went bigger on its proper debut full-length, but hear for yourself at its official debutant party at Origami Vinyl at 8 p.m. It's free (as are drinks), and it will haunt your dreams.
-- August Brown