Salinas - Salinas (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Salinas (2010)


Salinas is a Winnipeg, Manitobian indie rock act specializing in whatever it seems to want to do. Opener "Unite or Conquer" is over six minutes long, and is by far the longest track here. But it mostly just sounds like the chorus of the Promise Ring's "Stop Playing Guitar," only not quite as majestic and needlessly repetitive.

Things feel a little more taut when "Unite or Conquer" comes to an abrupt halt and the next song, the far more concise "Blend," comes along. As it starts, their singer clearly has a lightly raspy delivery with a little bit of Blake Schwarzenbach to his voice, and consequently, the song sounds a bit like the lesser Jets to Brazil stuff. But it ain't bad, and it's far warmer and more precise.

Salinas explore more tense ideas in "The Review," and then a more lighthearted, horn-assisted approach in the much easier-going "Surfing for Silence." The latter is bouncy and buoyant, with shouted gang vocals in sort of a scaled-back Broadway style. They really get away from a lot of those aforementioned post-emo styles as the record goes on, getting on more with synth-accompanied power-pop styles in a track like "So Popular." Admittedly, "No Caulfield Absolutes" does have a bit of a brooding Jawbreaker/Gods Reflex vibe.

There's some interesting moments to be had on Salinas self-titled full-length. If they can develop a bit more and come up with some more realized songwriting, this could blossom into something special.