Born in the south of England during the pandemic, South of Salem made a major impact with their debut album, The Sinner Takes it All with songs such as ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’ and ‘No Plague Like Home’ burning themselves on the inside of your skull for the riffs, the dark humour and unfettered rock.
Now they have their second album out on their own label, titled Death of the Party,. It displays the rawness, eagerness and more endearing dark humour, combined with an inevitable maturity. The lead-off track, ‘Vultures’ illustrates this all with every member pouring every effort into a song that many inexplicably successful rock bands will be envious of, containing metal, theatre, melody and bite.
‘Static’ is even heavier but maintains melody and catchiness that they meld seamlessly with weighty riffs. Even catchier is the powerful ‘Jet Black Eyes:’ It is slightly lighter of touch but still carries weight and benefits even more from a truly memorable chorus as well as some tasty guitar work.
Elsewhere we get the slightly surprising, (sort of) slower, subtle but genius of ‘Hellhound Heart.’ The parping keys work as the band pulls back for the verses and then hits hard again for the chorus…another catchy, sing-a-long. The title track is complex yet accessible with some thought-provoking lyrics with a ‘cheerleader’ chorus joining in too.
The final track, ‘Villain’, is a great closer as it somehow combines pop, metal, (melodic) thrash and punk in a smouldering smorgasbord that works so very well.
This is an excellent, if not earth-shattering different album, that will be an instant hit with existing fans and will bring many new ones on board after they listen to it and/or see them live.
Catch them on their tour dates, the forthcoming Kris Barras tour and at Bloodstock and a few other festivals through 2024
Death of the Party is out now on Spider Party Records