With a backstory that includes gas-station hooking and heroin addiction, Michigan electro-extremists Salem are spooky straightaway. Then their quicksand sound sucks you down: The trio's debut is a cesspool of New Wave synths, goth-shoegaze moans, slow-mo raps and the sort of new-school blown-speaker beats that have recently infiltrated car commercials (go, Sleigh Bells!). What endorsement deals Salem might warrant isn't quite clear: "Sick" pours syrup raps over a chorus that sounds like witches chanting "six-six-six," and the title track employs a version of the Christmas fave "O Holy Night" to conjure Yuletide carolers being boiled in oil. A stocking stuffer for that kid in the trench coat.
- King Night
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