There's nothing sugary abut Swedish Salt

BEST BETS

February 29, 1996|By J. D. Considine

Here in America, we tend to think of Swedish bands as being lightweight and upbeat, all sweetness and froth like ABBA, Roxette or Ace of Base. But Salt is nothing like that. Instead of pretty pop confections, this Stockholm-based trio offers edgy, astringent songs flavored with alterna-rock anomie and punk abandon -- hardly the stuff of lightweights.

"Bluster," the title tune from their debut EP, recalls the raw exuberance of the Pixies with its soaring chorus and whining, over-amped guitar, but that's just one side of the band's sound. "Auscultate," the band's first full album (which arrives in stores Tuesday), finds Salt serving up everything from dark, dramatic drones, such as the Nirvana-ish "Beauty," to such surging, sophisticated fare as "Undressed," which finds singer Nina Ramsby emoting like a less-bluesy Polly Jean Harvey. This is clearly a band on the way up.

Joining Salt when it arrives at the Eight by Ten on Sunday will be the Illinois-based duo Local H, whose tuneful, guitar-and-drums approach is nothing if not unique.

The concert is Sunday at 10 p.m. at the Eight by Ten Club, 10 E. Cross St. Tickets are $6. Call (410) 625-2000.

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