Album Review: Tom McGuire – ‘Salvage’

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Tom McGuire mostly comes through with lo-fi and atmospheric, soulful, bluesy folk ballads with some oddballs thrown in. ‘Untitled’ is the ultimate in blues rock revivalism; Led Zeppelin’s influence is clear but with a marked symphonic tinge to it. His vocals are charming and full, but at once almost bleak.

The revivalism isn’t quite as quaint as Hozier – the production shines in this record for warping guitar-based ballads into entirely different creatures, so whilst tracks have styles alien to one another, it ensures a smooth journey from track to track with chrome cassette’s tinny sound and heavy reverb. ‘The Sled’ leans on a dissonant riff but has a strong low end, distorting it into doom metal; the bouncing rhythmic chords also help to cement the melodic metal sound. ‘Let Me Go’ is meanwhile a perfect microcosm of his debut album, full of life and purpose, and the heavy ‘Fast Year’ flows to a spacious ‘Shhh…’.

The biggest pitfall of this LP is its lack thereof – the song-writing is less experimental and fun than the previous record. So whilst not as profound as his previous crunchy experimental work, this is a good show of Tom’s abilities in production and adaptable song-writing.

[Tess Dawson]

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