Review: Salty Dog – Lost Treasure
Escape Music (March 2018)
Reviewer: Grant Foster
Salty Dog’s debut, ‘Every Dog Has It’s Day’ was, in my eyes a true lost classic, packed with fine rockers and golden mellow moments driven by the writing partnership largely of Pete Reeven – guitar- (who provided the music) and Jimmi Bleacher – vocals – (who added lyrics). I remember taking a copy down to the Clay Pigeon in Eastcote, home of Neil Kay’s infamous Heavy Metal Soundhouse at the time, so I could headbang to ‘Come Along’ for chrissaskes!
Unfortunately, grunge killed SD’s blend of hard rock & blues, stone dead, along with a number of other bands. Timing, as they say, is everything.
So, this release – what’s it all about? The lost second album? It appears to be just that, polished demos that were worked up for the album that never saw the light of day. By then, Bleacher had departed and Darrel Beach had taken up the vocals. But how does it compare to EDHID?
I really, really, really, wanted to like this album. Like I’ve said, I loved the debut and if ‘Lost Treasure‘ came anywhere near that, in terms of song writing, production & performances, then it would still be a corker of an opus.
But – I’m afraid to say, I’m left totally & utterly disappointed. And really, really, really frustrated!
I’m looking at the notes now, that I typed over the course of listening to this album, on the five occasions I listened to it and it saddens me.
- Damned If I Do – More straight ahead hard rock than the debut album – Felt it would have been more ‘in the groove’. Doubles up towards the end for no apparent reason.
- I Need More – Sounds like a Badlands out take. It highlights how unique Jimmi Bleacher was and is sorely missed. The chorus is the best part on offer here, but not enough to save the song. Again, it double times out of nowhere, apparently for the guitar solo.
- Walk Softly – Starts out like The Cult, pre Electric, then ultimately goes nowhere. A real demo feel, which brings me to the production, or rather the lack of it. Muddy, unrefined and not a patch on that debut!
- Open Sezme – The guitar riff is cool and up to now probably the best thing so far. And be grateful for small mercies that Mr Beach has stopped caterwauling long enough to prove he CAN sing! Has an eastern feeling guitar solo.
- Mission On A Hill – A slower paced tune, very Zep like, but again, goes absolutely nowhere. Lacks any kind of strong melody in the vocal, something that is right across the board, I’m afraid. ‘’Do you remember?’ sings Beach? I’m trying to forget………
- All That Glitters – Slide guitar opens a riff heavy tune, but lacking the subtle touch. Certainly not glittering and definitely not gold.
- Woman Scorned – This proves when the band take their foot off the heavy laden lumpen blues pedal, there is a half decent tune here.
- Honeysuckle Wind – Yee haw! Banjo upfront and it goes on to be an inoffensive little jaunt. The sort of thing Blackberry Smoke went past, about ten years ago.
- Didju – More of the same…….lumpen hard blues rock with yet another uninspired vocal melody and no chorus to speak of. Oh god……..
- Old Fashioned Love – Tries to be Skynyrd, but falls way short. Still, at least it sounds different, although still no chorus!
- When Fools Rush In – No, sorry, I’ve lost the will to live. A ballad on shifting sands and I’m out of here.
I know, I know, it doesn’t read well. I suppose when the debut album is as stunningly as good, as Salty Dog produced, bringing out a follow up 26 years later with a different line up and therefore different dynamics, was never going to be easy. But even taking that into account, this, is as bad, as EDHID, was good.