Album Review: NIGHTLIFE – Salt & Acid

When NIGHTLIFE tell us they write songs with the purpose of imagining them being played as WWE entrance songs, you can understand why we get a little bit excited.

The London rockers have been busy adapting and evolving their sound over several years, with the end result being this week’s release of debut album Salt & Acid. Having begun life as a pop-punk band, NIGHTLIFE have seen members come and go, tweaked and developed their approach and, with a solid line-up now in place, have settled into a rockier, punkier sound.

Salt & Acid has been in production for a while, they began recording it back in September 2015 and, after a few bumps along the way, the quartet are finally ready to unleash it on the world.

We met up with the band at their recent London gig and asked what we can expect from their debut album. Lead singer Paul tells us: “We’re champing at the bit, I think it’s got more of a mix. I’m from a pop-punk background and our earlier music had that vibe, but this is more rocky. It’s fast and heavier in parts but the dynamics are more varied, whereas before it was just fast and angry all the time.”

The album opens up with a cool guitar riff in the intro of Left Alone, which leads into a lively opening verse with jumpy guitar chords and winding vocals. The riff returns to link into the second verse then more fun guitar and singalong rock lyrics. Purgatory continues in the same vein of lively punky rock, with big guitar riffs supporting Paul’s impressive high-pitched vocals.

That’s followed by lead single from the album, Out Of Your Mind. There’s more fast-paced guitar riffs in this lively singalong rock track, as well as a really cool section with a cowbell, cried of ‘woh-oh-oh’ and clean guitars in the run-up to the final chorus. Check the track out in the video below:

Broken Man is the pick of a few excellent mid-album tracks and opens up with big distorted guitars and vocals, then drops down into a slow first verse with some impressive high notes as the pace builds with palm muted guitars in support of the vocals.

One of the standout tracks on the record is Wholesome, which opens with high-pitched guitars then a big chunky riff before dropping out for a vocal-heavy first verse that gradually builds with bursts of guitar. The chorus kicks in with jaunty high-pitched vocals with big guitar and crashing cymbals, then the opening guitar riffs lead into the next verse. The second chorus ends with several repeats of “wholesome as you” then a big, cool bass solo and background vocals that lead us into one final rendition of the chorus.

Penultimate track Wake Me When It’s Over opens with a cool guitar riff then verse with big palm muted guitar chords in support, then a big rock chorus. The song typifies NIGHTLIFE’s ability to mix things up, with loads of guitar riffs going on, awesome high-pitched vocals, a whole host of pauses that take you by surprise then swiftly jump into another big rock-out.

They also save one of their best tracks for last, with album title track Salt & Acid. It begins with a fast guitar riff that winds down as a building drum beat leads us into a big rock-out of the initial riff. The verse is fast and guitar-heavy, with loads of riffs flying around followed by a big singalong chorus. It’s a fun ending to a really solid first album, which showcases the success of NIGHTLIFE’s new rockier self.

Describing the new sound, Paul told us: “There’s ups and downs, lots of changes in pace, mood and style. When I write songs I think about it being a WWE entrance song, or the first song someone puts on when they go for a run – we want to create that kind of energy. We just want to write songs that people are psyched about, that’s ballsy and exciting and extremely direct.”

Salt & Acid is out on Friday (24 February) and available for pre-order here now, and the band will be playing more gigs throughout the year so do go and check them out live. As Paul tell us: Paul said: “I just want people to listen to us and come to shows, to see people who’ve listened to it singing along, smiling and having a good time.”

You can follow NIGHTLIFE on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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