Salvadarlings: SODA

Local psych-trippers Salvadarlings float along and dabble in lots of things - but do they ever really commit?

- Salvadarlings are one of those bands where you’re never quite sure where they are, what they’re up to, or even if they exist at all. Then soon after you forget about the last cool show they played, they release an EP you didn’t expect. SODA, is apparently the second release from the Gold Coast psychedelic outfit and it’ll do exactly the same thing with your short term memory.

The first thing wafting into your auditory field will make you realise just how floaty Salvadarlings are prepared to get. They’ve really committed to the tripped out Tame Impala thing, with background sound effects to thicken things up to the point of complete saturation in a way the heavily chorused guitars never could. Soda Shark sets up a pretty solid groove, a lazy vocal drenched in reverb and delay, and not much else. There’s an occasional chord and melodic lick here and there but until it picks up towards the end, the band is comfortable standing on a platform of soundscapes and effects. Things do get a bit more structured throughout the EP but not so much that it distracts you from whatever else you’re doing at the time. This has to be my biggest gripe with SODA, it simply doesn’t ask for your attention.

The band just seems so nonchalant about what they do, the songs tend to fall over themselves from a lack of purpose. While this would be pretty fun with some crazy visuals and a head full of lsd, the recorded format is a bit hard to give repeat listens. They take themselves a little too seriously to indulge in a synth hook, but not seriously enough to make you think too hard. It’s a little too washed out to let a soaring melody shine through, but not enough to hide layers of intricacy. It’s not groovy enough to dance to but too groovy to sit still to.

In saying that though, I’m still torn about this EP. The vocals can ooze out of the haze like honey and fill up your ears with a gooey feeling you don’t want to clean out straight away and the grooves they lay down are hypnotic in a way that was usually reserved for bands like CAN. EP highlight has to be Tied Eyes with enough rhythmic content to hold onto the whole time and a talk-box synth melody that is actually pretty cool. All in all though, I find it hard to recommend this to anyone who isn’t serious about drugs and hasn’t already tripped out to all the classics.

- Krishan Meepe.

Album Details

Album Title: SODA
Artist: Salvadarlings
Record Label: (Strange Yonder)