The Salads, The Big Picture

Without even hearing The Salads, I knew through their fierce live reputation that they were a fun loving, ska-influenced frat rock band. But since their third release, 2003's Fold A to B, and their subsequent chart topping single "The Roth Fung Fu," Darren Dumas (lead vocals), Dave Ziemba (lead guitar), Chuck Dailey (bass), and Grant Taylor (drums) have all gone thru some life changing events. From band members getting married, babies being born, and having all their studio equipment stolen, the past three years have been an emotional roller coaster.

All these changes in the band's personal lives, was bound to affect The Salads musical state. Their fourth release, The Big Picture, is their evolution from ska-rockers to a melting pot of hard rock, pop punk, and metal influences that reminded me of a mix between Sum 41 (see first single "Growing Up") and Alter Bridge (see the perfect radio rock track "Circles") with a punk edge.

While The Big Picture does features some undeniably catchy, yet tender lyrics, and fun metal riffs, you might find mid-way thru the CD, that The Salads new sound and their use of numerous cheesy production techniques (especially on vocals and drums) result in generic-sounding tracks. The Salads have a knack for writing some catchy melodies, but on The Big Picture, they may have alienated old fans just to adhere to rock radio standards. (Maui Wowie Records/Kindling Music/Warner Music)

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