Moving Forward In Reverse: Greatest Hits

Saliva

Island Def Jam, 2010

http://www.saliva.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/26/2013

I think one sign of aging is when the music you grew up with begins appearing on hits compilations.

I came of age in the late ‘90s, when the rock music scene suddenly grew angry and loud and the radio was filled with songs by Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Tool, Puddle Of Mudd, P.O.D., Disturbed and Godsmack. For the most part, it was nearly impossible to tell these bands apart except by their singer, simply because the approach was the same: a wall of power chords with no soloing, shouted or occasionally awkwardly rapped vocals, unimaginative rhythm sections, all expertly produced with a metallic sheen. There were those who stood apart from the genre, of course – Tool was intelligent neo-prog metal, Limp Bizkit was embarassing and unpleasant, Korn was creepy – but much of the music just blended together.

Saliva was one of the many, many bands practicing this sound, and instead of a passing fad, this is how mainstream rock would sound for many years (which is pretty much why I gave up on the radio and turned instead to sites like the Vault to discover good new music that wasn't getting noticed). Like many others, Saliva entered the scene with a couple of hits albums and songs and then faded away, remaining a presence on the bottom reaches of the charts until around 2008.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Casual fans of the band or those who are interested in this genre of nu-metal (or alt-metal, or rap-rock) are the target audience, as only one of the 14 tracks is new and another is from the 2003 Rest In Pieces EP. Fans will probably have the other five albums. The band had a small number of hits, all of which are here toward the beginning: "Your Disease," "Always" and "Click Click Boom" chief among them, with "Ladies and Gentlemen" present as well.

These songs, and the rest of these, follow the pattern established above without much variation, and it is sporadically effective but truly a matter of individual taste; if you have never liked this sort of music, this won't change your mind. "Survival Of The Sickest" is one of the better songs, recalling early Guns 'N' Roses by way of Buckcherry, hinting at something deeper within this band that rarely surfaces. "Ladies And Gentlemen" would have been a good leadoff choice, 2007's equivalent of Emerson, Lake And Palmer's "Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends."

Much of the rest bleeds together in a cacophony of amped-up power chords that do little to separate themselves from each other, and the aggression is overwhelming after a while. Even Rage Against The Machine knew when to pull back and/or offer a different guitar tone. The power ballads "Rest In Pieces" and "Razor's Edge" are pretty bland but will probably appeal to anyone who liked Hinder's "Lips Of An Angel."

If you really liked "Your Disease" when it came out in 2001, or if you think Saving Abel and Shinedown are the greatest rock bands of the last five years, then by all means give this a shot. The truth is that Saliva does little to set itself apart from the aggressive nu-metal pack, let alone set its own songs apart from each other, and only fans of this sort of music will be able to discern the differences. Should they wish to do that, Moving Forward In Reverse is the best place to start to get the highlights of this band's career.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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