Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

Pure Rawk: King Salami and the Cumberland Three "Fourteen Blazin' Bangers"

For new bands, having a reputation for being an awesome live act can be a real double-edged sword when it comes to finally putting that long-awaited debut album out. All those months of slogging it round the toilet circuit, all that time and effort you’ve put in, all of it can come undone with one cack-handed production job…

And I won’t lie, that was my initial fear on first listen to this debut album from King Salami & The Cumberland Three. Anyone who’s ever seen the sausage-fixated garage rock ‘n’ rollers live will know what an awesome group they are, tight as you like, supremely funky, the sort of group who you can’t help but get off your arse and dance to. So hearing this album for the first time is a bit of a shock – it’s never been any secret that KS and co are a group heavily influenced by the “Nuggets” era garage bands of the ’60s and the first thing that strikes you when you first listen to “Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers” is that they may have taken the production values of that era over to this album too – there’s very little low-end grunt on it and, if you didn’t know any better, you’d say it almost sounds a bit tinny.

But don’t worry, those concerns won’t last more than a few songs at the most until you get used to it. And then you’ll begin to appreciate that this is actually a pretty damn great album. Sure, the production might not be entirely what you were expecting but the manic energy of King Salami and the Cumberland Three’s live performances is most definitely captured properly here – a quick listen to the almost absurdly catchy likes of “Chicken Back” and “Whatcha Gonna Do Tomorrow?” will bear that up while if you can listen to live favourites like the thundering “Pawnee Stomp” and “Do The Climb” without your foot instinctively starting tapping, you clearly have no appreciation of good rock ‘n’ roll music.

Yup, initially it may not quite sound like what you were expecting but there’s no denying that this is a fine debut album from the pepperoni-lovin’ popsters. Give it a listen and see for yourself – you’ll be glad you did.

Dirty Water Records London