Saliva’s New Album Love Lies & Therapy Review
American hard rock veterans Saliva are about to unleash their ninth studio album Love, Lies & Therapy. And they’re keen to prove that even after twenty years in the business, they are most definitely not resting on their laurels.
Following their 2001 breakthrough album Every Six Seconds, Saliva found themselves right at the forefront of the nu-metal movement. Gold and platinum selling albums plus a grammy nomination followed, but when frontman Josey Scott left to pursue a solo career in 2012, there was a feeling within the band that it might be all over. However, after one of Saliva’s former lighting techs recommended Bobby Amaru, the singer was quickly auditioned and brought into the fold. Then last year, original bassist Dave Novotny left to be replaced by Brad Stewart, leaving guitarist Wayne Swinny as the only remaining original member. The good news is that these changes have apparently helped to re-energise Saliva, and this new album sees them heading off in new creative directions. A lot of that can be credited to Bobby Amaru who has written and produced much of the new material.
Love, Lies & Therapy then, is an album which takes various and occasionally unexpected musical turns. After opening the album with Trust, a driving, muscular no-nonsense rocker, we head into nu-metal power ballad territory with Tragic Kind of Love. Saliva then crack the intensity up a notch or two with the hard charging Bitch Like You before heading back into power ballad territory with Unshatter Me. And this pattern continues throughout the rest of the album. You get the impression the band went into the studio and let their creativity take them wherever it led, rather than set out with a plan to make a predictable, specific type of record which conformed to a single, easily pigeonholeable musical genre.
The second half of the album throws up a few more highlights. Go Big Or Go Home is a balls-out, anthemic rap-rock track which is surely destined to blow the roof off many a conert venue. And in yet another change in musical direction, the following track Loneliest Know has a very strong Oasis vibe about it. Everything from the song’s chord progression to it’s vocal arrangements sound like they could have been written with Oasis in mind and is certainly one of the outstanding tracks of the album for me. Love, Lies & Therapy rounds out with a Hand In Hand, a dramatic, atmospheric elegy which is to my mind, the pick of the lot. From Bobby Amaru’s charismatic vocals to Wayne Swinny’s blistering guitar solo, this Led Zeppelin-esque number kicks the preverbal hole in the sky.
There is one surprising track on the album. And it’s a cover version of Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us. Now, I don’t have a problem with rock bands that cover pop songs. I loved GUN’s rocked-out version of Cameo’s Word Up from years back, and still occasionally play it to this day. But in an album that’s as strong as Love, Lies & Therapy, the inclusion of any cover song seems a little bit unnecessary. That being said, it’s an extremely good version and features yet more properly good riffage from Mr Swinny.
In short, Saliva have hit it clean out the park with Love, Lies & Therapy. Sure, some of the songs deal with pretty dark issues such as addiction, so it’s not the kind of album that’s gonna necessarily lighten your mood on a bad day. But as rock album it’s got a whole lot of attitude, balls and heart. Go buy it.
02 Tragic Kind Of Love
03 Bitch Like You
04 Unshatter Me
05 Broken Wings
07 Break Down
08 Go Big or Go Home
09 The Loneliest Know
10 Refuse To Lose
11 They Don’t Care About Us (Written By Michael Jackson)
12 Hand In Hand