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[Off The Record]
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On their major-label debut, Memphis’s Saliva show an impressive knack for old-fashioned, unabashedly commercial pop metal. Singer Josey Scott heads out West to chase yesteryear’s rock-and-roll dreams on " Hollywood, " a strummy first-person update of Poison’s " Fallen Angel " minus the unhappy ending. Pretty electric-guitar squiggles and Enuff Z’Nuff vocal harmonies surface on harder-rocking tracks like " Musta Been Wrong " and the album’s first single, " Your Disease. "

But the disc also betrays a heavy rap-metal influence, and that doesn’t suit the band nearly as well. Like most of today’s rock-rappers, Scott sounds as if he’d learned how to rhyme directly from Fred Durst, without ever bothering to check out any actual hip-hop. He does fire off a couple of good shots on the one pure rap-metal track, " Click Click Boom " ( " My mom and dad weren’t perfect/But still you don’t hear no cryin’-ass bitchin’ from me/Like there seems to be on everybody’s CD " ), but the rap verses of " Your Disease, " in particular, sound forced next to its soaring, near-psychedelic chorus. Still, Saliva have a stronger sense of songcraft and less bad feeling than a lot of their contemporaries. They just need to pay more attention to their strengths and less to the charts.


Issue Date: March 29 - April 4, 2001

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