Tennessee based hard rock band has been through a lot in recent years. The band parted ways with now former front man Josey Scott in 2011 after the release of what would become its last album on Island Records, Under Your Skin. Scott allegedly left the band in order to follow a career as a Christian musician. He was subsequently replaced by new front man Bobby Amaru in 2012. The band’s first new album with Amaru at the helm, In It To Win It (Rum Bum Records) stayed in print for only a short time. In its place, Saliva will release its ninth full length album—Rise Up–later this month, which boasts many of the songs from In It To Win It. Considering this and everything that Saliva has been through since 2011, the album’s title and songs are quite fitting. Together, they make what is one of the best new rock albums of 2014.
Saliva opens its new album in proper fashion with the album’s title track. The anthemic song presents a carpe diem message of sorts through its lyrical side. This is evident as Amaru sings in the song’s chorus, “Rise up/Come face to face/Rise Up/Let’s make a change/Tomorrow could be the end/Rise up/You’d better take a shot/Rise up/When it’s all you got/Tomorrow could be the end/Rise up!” The song’s second verse is just as convincing in presenting the song’s message as Amaru sings, Now when I go back to yesterday/So close/But still/I’m so far away/You know/We all gotta learn from our mistakes/I can’t die young/I won’t fade away/It’s time we choose a side/Some things are worth the fight/It’s time to set it off.” The message here is clear. Amaru and company seem to be responding to the adversity that the band had faced up to the time that Amaru joined its ranks. The irony is that if this is indeed the case, this song could still so easily apply to so many situations for any listener. That being the case, its lyrics, and the fire in its musical accompaniment makes this song the perfect opener and re-introduction for the band on this record.
‘Rise Up’ is the perfect opener for Saliva’s return. It’s not the only positive addition to the band’s album, either. Just as powerful, is the band’s defiant and equally anthemic song ‘Army.’ It’s songs such as this that have helped so many people get through some tough times. Amaru sings in this song, “Runnin’ your lip/Got a grin on your face/Boy, you better quit/’Fore I give you a taste/Come on/Come on/Say I’m going down/With my crown in the mud/But you’re just another boy/And you can’t back it up/Come on!” Everybody has dealt with someone such as the subject presented in this song in their life. Anyone that hasn’t is very lucky. It’s thanks to songs such as this one that a person is able to deal with said individuals without either getting expelled, fired, or sent to jail. The collective chants behind Amaru as he sings later in the song, “You and what army’s gonna take my throne/Break my bones/steal my soul/Ain’t no army gonna climb these walls/Ten feet tall/I won’t fall” followed by the song’s wailing guitar are certain to get any listener’s adrenaline flowing. All assembled, this song proves once more just how serious Saliva’s members are about what they do. It’s one more example proving that Saliva is still alive and kicking.
Rise Up boasts more than its share of heavy, fist-pumping pieces that are certain to be fan favorites even if they aren’t used as radio singles. There are also some more reserved songs throughout the course of this album’s twelve total tracks. Simply put, this album’s songs boast quite the musical and lyrical range. In between the extreme energy and the more subdued songs that fill out this album, there is one that stands out more than any other. It stands out because while it is a high energy piece, its proud defiance is different from anything else on this record. The song in question is ‘Redneck Freakshow.’ It’s another proverbial musical middle finger in which Amaru and company present a Southern Pride of sorts. As a matter of fact, Amaru and company even make mention of the middle finger in the song’s chorus. Amaru sings in the song’s chorus, “It’s the live wild lifestyle/In our face/It might be crazy/But it keeps us sane/White trash/Cold beer/The party never stops here/That’s how we roll in the redneck freakshow/Throw down/get high/middle finger to the sky/That’s how it goes in the redneck freakshow!” Every one of Saliva’s fans are certain to sing along to this chorus and the rest of the song whether they be in their car, apartment, home or even at a live Saliva show. If this song doesn’t become a radio single for Saliva, it would be quite the surprise. For that matter, if any of the songs on Rise Up don’t become radio singles, it would be a surprise. There is something positive to say about every track on this record. And fans will find that out for themselves when the album hits store shelves Tuesday, April 26th.
Saliva is currently touring in support of Rise Up. The band is in Iowa this weekend. It will hit the stage at L.A.’s famed Whiskey A Go Go Wednesday, April 16th. Fans can get the band’s most up-to-date tour schedule and keep up with all the latest news from the band now online at http://www.facebook.com/Saliva and http://www.saliva.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.