"Salty the Pocketknife" (Sonance; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Fans of Smashing Pumpkins, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other alternative rock of that ilk will no doubt find Salty the Pocketknife to their liking. The CD begins with perhaps it best song, "Shiny Lies," and its razor-sharp guitar riff and faster pace. Things get a little weird from this point on. "Sever" is a slower tune with a near spoken word vocal delivery. "Senor Gonzo" gives us our first taste of vocalist Rosebud's tendency to sound a little too much like comic Judy Tenuta (hey, I love Judy, but there's a reason she's a comic and not a singer). "Deus Ex Machine" features the great lyric, "Don't you run out into the street, machines will crush you back into meat." 

The rest of the CD is more of the same: Songs that are a little more than just off center, performed with impressive musicianship and style but probably a little too quirky for the average rock fan. Hey, if different is your thing and you like bands such as the aforementioned Pumpkins, Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction, you may find Salty just to your liking.

And, yes, bassist Dustin Diamond is the same Dustin Diamond who played Screech on TV's "Saved by the Bell." Good move by Diamond here -- nothing like taking part in a cutting edge rock'n'roll project to separate the real you from a popular, but restricting, sitcom character.

Salty the Pocketknife: Dustin Diamond - bass; Rosebud - vocals, guitar; Evan Stone - drums; Scott Ireland - guitar, vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Sep 2023 21:55:31 -0400.