In the past 12 months I have enjoyed a few issues of lovely little zine called “Weird Walk”, which features writing regarding the British landscape and obscure folklore and culture. The Salopian to me feels like it fits with the general vibe of that zine rather nicely, especially as the lyrics on here are inspired by Shropshire folklore. The music manages to maintain a compelling mix of driving and brooding throughout. Things are propelled forward with energetic post-hardcore guitar that definitely recalls John Andrews previous band Sky:Lark. The vocals are distant and sometimes lost in the mix, delivered in a spoken word fashion (big recommendation from me for that Chanctonbury Rings LP on Ghost Box if you haven’t come across that btw), and these combine with the atmosphere to make it exceptionally easy to compare to bands like Slint, Shotmaker and Unwound. I don’t come across much guitar music these days that manages to conjure up a scene quite as easily as the Salopian manages here, though oddly my last review of Bad Amputee brought up similar feelings. I wonder if something about the repeated lockdowns has been encouraging people to ponder more on their local surroundings and history, when you can’t go more than a few miles from your home you might start finding yourself more intune with what you’ve been taking for granted right under your nose. Or maybe it’s just me reading too much into things.
My main challenge here was getting the tape out of the beautiful slip case, however handily the music is available online too. No bandcamp, so check it out at: https://www.thesalopian.co.uk/