My Script - Kim Salmon (kimsalmon.com.au)
Contrary bugger that he is, while this hasn’t quite been released, quite a few radio shows are playing tracks; this is probably because the DJs have all contributed to Kim’s crowdfunding site and have been snaffling the thing. And no wonder, because My Script is a ripper of a CD, all raucous yet bedroom-y, intimate and deafening by turns.
It’s also quite clear that this is Kim’s first "real" solo LP, allowing us to see the full gamut of his talent. Miles Mumford is in the production chair, in between contributing poignant soundscapes.
On the back cover, “All Rights Reserved” is followed by “All Wrongs Righted”. In a way that’s typical of the man Salmon; I mean, yeah, it’s bit of flung-out wordplay, but imagine setting out a task so hopelessly impossible to complete…
Having seen Salmon play Adelaide since 1982 I think (having missed the 1979 shows as I was but a lad without sufficient pocket money) I can say that his audience seems somewhat divided. There seem to be those who get what he’s up to. Then there are those who will always, always bang on about the Scientists (usually 83-84 or so) but never look too closely at his other records. A little like Ed Kuepper in some ways, Kim ploughs his own furrow, and those who look to him for a straight line in the paddock are going to be … either rejoicing, or disappointed.
I’ve played this in the car several times, and each time the result is a bit startling, as when, after a quieter bit (such as the first song, “Pathologise Me”), this avalanche of dance comes stomping out of the speakers and the car slides into the oncoming lane (like the second song, “Destination Heartbreak”). Caution: Kim Salmon is dangerous if you’re a driver, and god help you if I’m on the road with him.
One of the things I’ve always admired about Kim’s songwriting is that you can hear the Stooges/ Slade song in the gentle ballad, the pop song in the skronking hollerin’ bomb blast, the Creedence/ Beefheart in the jazz, and back we head toward Slade. Listening to Kim’s successive albums is like dipping a toe into the real world of music instead of the pretend hip radio stations who haven’t a clue (when did I last listen to 2JJJ on purpose? 1996?).
The third song, “Sign Apps”, is a fuzzy spaced-out creature you’d recognise from all your hangovers. It’s nasty, filled with dread and monsters in the cupboard. The piece which follows, “It’s Not Forgetting”, is the first of a six similar creatures which pepper the CD like smallpox sores. When “Making Me Better” sparks off, again, you’re reminded of days in front of Top of the Pops during the Glitter Daze, a much better proposition than Sunday nights in front of Count***n.
Haven’t we all wanted to write a song called “Fucking Shut Up”? It’s Kim’s half-joke/half-savagery at work again, and this minute-long song is followed by a crushing commercial hard rock cross-over anthem, “Client JGT683”, surely not about Jim Thirlwell, but as rough and stadium as anything the Queens of the Stun Age ever did. Better, too. Saw the Queens at a BDO (if you’re old enough to remember that) and boy, was I bored.
“Already Turned Out Burned (Slow Burn)” is a rather beautiful little piece, relying almost exclusively on Kim’s own guitar to create a small film in your head.
“You’re Safe With Me” reminds me a little of the single “I’m Evil”; Kim’s got some seriously creepy, eerie songs here, and he’s one of those few who can take a tiny fragment and make some sort of horror story out of it that’ll stay with you for days.
Actually, I’m going to leave it there. Telling you all about it in this way simply means you’ll know what to say at swanky parties; ‘“ say, Mr Turnbull, have you heard Kim Salmon’s new CD, ‘My Script’? You really must. Oh, look, why don’t I put it on your stereo now? Lovely!”
This is a deceptive little fucker of an album; I found myself leaving it on rotation while I attempted to tidy my room, creating more mess than before as piles of to-review CDs toppled and slid under the bed. Also, “My Script” is a little like listening to a whole pile of 7” singles, if you remember the days when bands figured no-one would listen to the B-side, so they felt free to create a little noisy haiku.
If you’re after a continuously stonking CD, you’re going to have to pick and choose here (perhaps making a ‘mixtape’, as I am told the young folk say). “My Script” boasts 20 tracks, some quite short; either way, you wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the wall while Kim sets all this up. As a whole CD, however, it’s bloody brilliant. Play loud, but probably best enjoyed at home.
Kim Salmon should be in Australia’s Hall of Fame. C’mon, this isn’t about units shifted but influence.
“What’s this song called, Mr Turnbull? ‘Gorgeous and Messed Up’! Let’s dance!”
Five bottles, two dozen oysters, chopped bacon and a few shots of Worcestershire sauce