Band Website: www.myspace.com/saltoftus
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2011
The trio has become a tried and tested line-up in the musical world…but trust me you haven’t heard a trio like Norway’sSOT. These guys perform on a myriad of instruments but basically Skalg Reithaug handles guitars, Anders Hunstad drums while Lars Andreas Haug plays among other things the tuba. They came together in the early nineties and the sum of their musical influences and interests created quite an unusual group. Their promo material calls them “a melting pot of musical impulses,” and truer words have never been written about a band. I like the fact that they specially used the word “impulses” because so much of SOT’s music seems so spontaneous.
Kind of Saltz is ten instrumental selections, none of which is overly long other than one that’s a bit over six and another a bit over eight-minutes, but these guys pack a ton of musicality into these compositions. The music is all over the place. It’s a mixture of time, tempo, tonality and dynamics. Jazz influences abound, as do prog rock overtones. The sheer depth of arrangements put’s these guys in a group of their own. Changes are abrupt, shifting from one bit to the next, and it’s done seemingly with little effort. But here’s the thing – this disc is a riot to listen to. It’s fun. Despite the serious looks on their faces, SOT seem to really enjoy making music and as a listener, you hear it too, especially when all of a sudden the lead instrument is a tuba or the melody is like a child’s play toy. Try to imagine all of this playfulness juxtaposed against some serious musicianship because these guys know their way around their instruments. Searing guitar licks show up everywhere, while drumming accents move everything along effortlessly leaving enough room for that tuba! One tune will feature staccato jazzy licks and the next will give off a smooth groove and then sometimes you get both in the same song.
Kind of Saltz in some ways defies description and I think SOT is quite happy about that. It’s clearly music that will appeal to a wide range of prog fans. I’m thinking if you get off on bands like French TV or Forever Einstein you will wet yourself listening to SOT’s Kind of Saltz. Go get a copy and find out. You won’t be disappointed. This is such a happy disc of serious music…how can you not like that?