During the past few years of their domestic licensing deal with The Music Cartel, Cathedral leader Lee Dorian and his Rise Above Records have been keeping the stoner-metal bong amply toasted, but toasted nonetheless, releasing plastic platters that run the gamut of the all-out godly (Electric Wizard) to the all-out boring (Hangnail). So, the hookah gets hoisted once again, this time the participants being Sally. Sad thing is, Sally’s eponymous debut lodges itself somewhere’s ’round the “all-out mediocre” point of the spectrum, whether that be merely of the band’s chosen genre or, more drastically, the whole of recorded music.
Anyway, these England natives possess all the earmarks — heavy, low-slung guitars, punchy but stumbling drums, a vocalist (Lee Smith) who can alternately bellow and wail, a general cloud of psychedelic smoke lingering over the proceedings — of the retro-imbedded scene, but what they don’t maintain — personality, big-time elan, or just anything over-the-top in any respect to make the band stand out more (or weirder, I guess) — is more crucial and made all the more apparent here; overall, pretty rockin’ stuff, but not the most rockin’. To confound matters even more, the second half of the hour-long album is comprised of swirling, “test your hi-fi” guitar feedback/effects/whatever (i.e., no real songs), Sally presumably exiting the building to spark up a blunt or ten, in the process forgetting to turn off their equipment. Color me smoked-out.
The Music Cartel, 106 West 32nd Street, 3rd Floor, New York City, NY 10001; http://www.music-cartel.com