8.5Overall Score
Salem - DRACULADS8.5

Roadrunner Records

After their stupendous debut EP, Salem are back with a new one. DRACULADS is Salem I with the fuzz and the punk turned up, straight out of the late eighties and delicious for it. Salem haven’t had a quiet winter, either, as just a few months after their debut they’ve announced that Salem II is coming – and judging by DRACULADS, it’s going to be a whole new beast.

Salem have been teasing DRACULADS for a long time, and now it’s unleashed, it’s definitely hitting expectations. If their first EP was Salem (Will Gould of Creeper, and Matt Reynolds) taking it back to their musical youth with energy reminiscent of Creeper’s visceral early EPs, then it looks like Salem II is going to be turning the clock even further back, dropping us straight into the height of the horror-punk zeitgeist. DRACULADS’ unforgiving power chords chase the vocal melodies along like a chainsaw-wielding villain, Gould delivering them with his trademark glamour but a little more grit than usual, spitting out metaphors about God and vampires.

It might be as punk as they come, but Salem avoid going one-note – DRACULADS’ ethereal bridge allows Salem’s penchant for theatre to surface, howling out the waltzing coda before exploding into one final, abrupt chorus. DRACULADS is quick and nasty in the very best way, not nearly long enough to satisfy – catch your breath, press repeat, and revel in it once again. Salem’s core mission, which was to blow off steam and have fun, remains evident. It’s chaotic, delightful, gory, and gorgeous, so Salem II is set to be all of the above and more.

Salem II is out 7th May.