Every Six Seconds

Saliva

Island Records, 2001

http://www.saliva.com

REVIEW BY: Greg Calhoun

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/06/2010

Memphis rockers Saliva followed up their 1997 self-titled indie debut with their first major label record, Every Six Seconds. Their raw fury received a professional polish that spotlighted frontman Josey Scott’s vocals. The album’s metal-inspired rhythms, memorable hooks, and emotive singing brought it attention on the hard rock scene. While Every Six Seconds includes several of Saliva’s best songs, its inconsistency keeps it from being a Southern rock classic.

“Superstar” introduces the musical collage that Saliva pieces together on Every Six Seconds. They move seamlessly from crunchy metal riffs to lighter mainstream rock with a synth and bass dominated backdrop. Scott’s lyrics describe what it’s like to be on the verge of stardom. Like Knievel and his cliff, the goal looms large with the promise of fame and wealth and whether success will actually enrich Scott or control him.

While the follow-up, “Click Click Boom,” is the straightforward radio rocker that launched Saliva’s career, it is also more than that. The energy, bravado, and catchiness brought clips of the song to numerous film trailers and video games. These qualities, however, are balanced in the album cut by moments of vulnerability and a sense of journey. The first verse, “All those Saturdays, when kids go out and play / I was up in my room, I let the stereo blaze,” is returned to, emphasizing that this record deal is a culmination of years of loving music more than anyone else. Scott adds, “Why’s my mother always right? / And will I make it to the end? / Or will I crawl away and die?”  Even with mainstream triumph around the corner, Scott knows there are no guarantees.  Just click, click, boom, and it could be over as quickly as it began.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Your Disease” is the quintessential Saliva song. Scott gets into rap mode for the verse, a style that produced mixed results throughout their career, but here it injects energy. The irresistible hooks in the refrain and bridge make the song with their stripped-down sincerity. The sonic pocket they hit here for the first time would be expanded in other tracks like smash hit “Rest In Pieces,” but they discovered it here on this stellar track. “Disease” remains one of their best, blending heavy and heartfelt in a way that few other artists can.

Towards the end of the album, “Hollywood” lightens the mood by turning down the guitars so Scott can carry the song. He does it well on this sincere ballad about leaving Memphis to pursue his dreams. The chorus is catchy and the verses have the best vocals on the record.

The following track, “Doperide,” is not the equal of the other songs I’ve mentioned, but it does demand mention. “Doperide” is not fusion; it is rap-metal in Rage Against The Machine fashion with Saliva’s unique style. Scott displays his chops as an emcee with lines like “No apologies like I’m born again.” While it’s a solid track that doesn’t need apologizing, I am glad it’s the only song of its style. None of the group’s best performances delve this deeply into rap, and thankfully, this song became an influence rather than a focus moving forward.

While none of the other songs could qualify as filler, they are also aren’t strong enough to put this album with the greats. What Every Six Seconds did accomplish, however, was the evolution of Saliva into a force in rock radio and festivals. Their taste of greatness promoting this album left them hungry enough to hit the studio and craft their best album: late 2002’s Back Into Your System. Every Six Seconds is good as a standalone, and even better in the context of preparing the group for its finest work.

Rating: B

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