TRACK PREMIERE: SALT LICK “CALIFORNIA MUD”
There were a lot of bands between Blue Cheer’s Vincebus Eruptum and that first Ramones album that came from nowhere and had nowhere to go. They were too crude for prog, too early for punk, too heavy for garage and way too weird for good-time dive-bar party music, although they surely spent plenty of time in dive bars. Call it bonehead, call it sludge, call it stoner rock or proto-punk, but these were the bands that popular music history forgot—and with them went their jean jackets, their panel vans, their beat-up Marshall stacks missing at least three letters and a towering stack of killer 45s.
Now it’s fifty years later but that’s still the place where L.A.’s Salt Lick come from, even if their new “California Mud” offers just a little bit of ‘proto’ and a whole lot of ‘punk.’ It’s got a little of that venomous Sabbath guitar tone, a little of the Dictators’ charm and charisma and a gigantic hammer-meets-anvil riff that (almost) never stops hammering. (It stops for guitar leads, call-and-response vocals and a series of “yeah! YEAH! YEAH!”s, of course. But otherwise—unstoppable!) Says Lick member Erik Lake, also of many bands featured elsewhere on this site: “California Mud is a true story, therefore it can belong to anyone.”
Spanish studio mastermind/monstermind Jorge Explosion handled all the behind-the-board work on this—played some guitar and sang, too—and the searing artwork is by Laura Kensington. “California Mud”is available right now as part of one of Bandcamp’s No Fee Fridays, which means all profits from this (or any!) tracks today will be sent directly to the musicians. Get dirty here!