As if the ever evolving style and sprawling narratives of Creeper didn’t already keep him busy enough, Will Gould reacted to last year’s initial lockdown by delving into the archives to complete the debut EP from his side project SALEM. Working alongside his friend and collaborator Matt Reynolds, SALEM quickly sold-out the first vinyl pressing of their self-titled debut EP while also earning fresh acclaim and streaming an In The K! Pit show for Kerrang!.
Now the second chapter in the SALEM story emerges from the underworld with the news that they’ll release their new EP ‘SALEM II’ on May 7TH The duo today share the first taste of the EP in the shape of the new single ‘DRACULADS’
‘DRACULADS’ opens with the kind of larger-than-life b-movie horror love letter that can only come from Gould’s poison pen: “Maybe the blood of Jesus Christ is laced upon your lips / I get a little closer to God and too drunk each time we kiss.” It sets the tone for a blitzkrieg rush of melodic punk and raucous rock ‘n’ roll that only stops for breath for the song’s cabaret croon breakdown.
The official video for ‘DRACULADS’ takes us back to the Manchester music scene of 1985. It tells the fractured, non-linear story of two awkward, anxiety-prone teenagers who fall in love as The Smiths and New Order are at their peak and a new wave of influential bands begin to make an in impact. Inspired by the monochrome cinematography of ‘Control’ and the gritty social realism of ‘This is England’, the video is their third to have been directed by Olli Appleyard of Static Dress.
“’DRACULADS’ is the sound of two lovers kissing in a bar fight,” says Gould. “It is an over the top love song literally about falling in love with a vampire. The video is a period piece and tells the story of two punk rock kids dating in England, in 1985. It was filmed in one single day and shot at many historic musical landmarks in Manchester. For the two indoor scenes I built sets in my apartment, at one point transforming my own bedroom into the home of one of our characters. It is chaotic and romantic, destructive and dramatic just as the song it was shot for.”
Elsewhere, the EP builds upon the style that SALEM established with their debut. From the tongue-in-cheek reference to The Smiths on the opening track ‘William, It Was Really Something’ to the closing ‘Heaven Help Me’, SALEM play it fast, frenetic and fun. As with the best old school punk EPs, ‘SALEM II’ is an escapist rush of attention that commands your attention for 15 minutes before it’s time to drop the needle back to the start
‘SALEM II’ will be released on limited edition vinyl and digital formats, and is available to pre-order here.
‘SALEM II’ EP tracklist:
- ‘William, It Was Really Something’
- ‘Keep The Thorns’
- ‘Sweet Tooth’
- ‘Heaven Help Me’