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WE REVIEW THE NEW DOUBLE SINGLE FROM SALLOW – SPIRIT BOX/UNCERTAINTY

It’s difficult to pin down a band like Sallow. They’re instrumentally heavier than most bands but not a metal band. They’re vocally guttural and strained but rarely scream. And what this all means is that they fulfil the paradoxical brief required to be accessibly inaccessible – heavy enough for the metalheads without abandoning the art of intelligible songwriting.

This makes Sallow exciting – capable of creating ear-piecing sounds that happen also to be catchy. They demonstrate this skill on debut singles ‘Spirit Box’ and ‘Uncertainty’ – singles which are promising in character but at times a little too faithful to their influences.

Listening to ‘Spirit Box’ gives the impression that Sallow has diverse tastes. The sounds of progressive rock’s wilder outfits like The Mars Volta combine with the dour grunge of Soundgarden to form a bleakly chaotic creation.

The breadth of sonic checkpoints is a little messy but the performances throughout the track are consistently incendiary – guitar passages meander with the mercurial undulation of a sidewinder.  

The second single ‘Uncertainty’ is a piece of blues rock at its heaviest – think Them Crooked Vultures but with particularly ferocious vocals. It’s a capricious composition too; the inclusion of a bass-led instrumental break calls back to some of Tool’s earliest releases.

Sallow’s consistent barrage of heavy sounds often combines to create something impressively broad. Chunky riffs crash through these mixes unapologetically. Occasionally the love of rock’s previous heydays prevents Sallow from exploring their own capabilities more wholly, but for a debut, these singles are as fist-pummelling and heart-racing as they come.