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Kevin Salem
Glimmer, Roadrunner CD RR 159

Energetic rock’n’roll

 Glimmer is the follow-up effort to Kevin Salem’s Roadrunner debut,  Soma City, which was one of those well reviewed but not widely heard CDs. Count me among those that read about  Soma City, made a mental note to check it out, and then lost the note. Now that I’ve got  Glimmer in my hands, I’ll be looking for  Soma City. Salem produces an aggressive brand of basic rock’n’roll, with about a zillion influences nicely melting together. The best reference points are perhaps the early Tom Petty albums or maybe Neil Young re-recording  After the Gold Rush with Pearl Jam instead of Crazy Horse. This is well-written material with hook-filled power chords, nasally moaning vocals, and a good sense of dynamics. Like Petty, he’s constructed a careful balance between anthems, slower love songs, and a few mild experiments. Although the vocals are a bit hard to make out, a few good lines stand out: "time turns tears to ice water" and "they shoot down angels around here for laughs". But this music isn’t about fancy words, it’s about rock’n’roll, and it’s amazing to me how much freshness Salem squeezes from this very familiar genre. Music like this is not about to change the pop music world, but is sure is nice to have around.–  Bill Kuhn

Copyright © 1997 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.