29 March, 2007

Salt, Pepper, Ketchup on your Pink Flowers?

This is not a piece on the delicacy of the Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese sandwich which I recently discovered is a New Jersey only phenomenon, a phenomenon I am very proud to be a part of. No, I am talking about something that brings honor and glory to the state of New Jersey. That's right, Salt the Sky. Salt the Sky is a band I've been following for a few years now with quite a bit of interest, largely because they are from my town and I know the members but also because the music they produce is so different and lets me escape for a bit in a way that mainstream music doesn't. That is not to say that their sound is inaccessible to all but the most pretentious music lovers but simply that they offer something new and different to the huge musical landscape we already have to choose from. A video on the band's myspace refers to me lovingly as "their only fan" or something along those lines. This is not true, but if it was, well I believe now that they've gotten their music together and out for mass consumption, new fans will be found everywhere.

I love the band's variety in their songs that draws from influences all over the musical spectrum and can be heard on their debut album, Pink Flowers. The album is available for free at a variety of places around their hometown, Pequannock Township, NJ and should not be hard to obtain if you contact the band through their site, http://www.myspace.com/saltthesky, where several of the tracks are available for streaming and download. If you are not going out right now to seek this music, you are being lazy. Free music is directly proportional to many people's happiness these days, so do yourself a favor, and make yourself happy. Get this album that you can obtain for free and will also offer you a whole album of great music.

Salt the Sky's first album reminds me of groups such as Pink Floyd and The Arcade Fire at points, but then offers completely new sounds on the next track. At parts eerie, at times depressing, Pink Flowers has a lot to offer through its heavy use of synthesizer successfully combined with the more traditional bass, guitar and drums. The vocals sound great, a problem that plagued Salt the Sky for a long time early on. Many of the tracks have long instrumental sections and some are entirely instrumental, a much appreciated departure from the verse-chorus-verse structure of so much of today's music.

I can't speak highly enough of the band and will listen to a lot of their music on my midnight drive down to Washington, DC I am about to embark on. Salt the Sky tops my list of summer concerts I am looking forward to. The band always goes all out in the stage presence and energy departments at live shows and with this impressive repertoire now at their disposal, their shows will be a can't miss ticket for anyone in the know.