If ‘2’ saw in the party, ‘Salad Days’ is the first thing in the morning aftermath, where the line between uproariously drunk and life-threateningly hungover is foggy. Terrible jokes still prompt fits of laughter, but the floating/drowning sensation tells a different story.
The record’s opening, title track might as well be a direct response from Mac to being told he has another tour to take off on. He sings of ‘rolling through life, to roll over and die,’ like a guy trying to knock down a tower of beer cans. ‘Passing Out Pieces’ is explicit in saying that those ‘… Pieces’ belong specifically to the 23 year old who, post teens, hasn’t spent a moment out of the spotlight. Ok so he’s not a Kardashian, but that gap-toothed grin has a price on it, these days.
Thankfully there’s hardly any wallowing, ‘poor me’ mentality on ‘Salad Days’. Mac barely backs away from the cheery, cheeky alternative rock of his last album. In fact the songs only sound sleeker, more melodic, more intensely stoned. That’s DeMarco in sum, and thankfully he’s not retreating into his shell just yet.
‘Salad Days’ also shows a wholesome soft side. Sexist jokes and crude fart noises from live shows are nowhere to be seen. ‘Treat Her Better’ doesn’t back down in making domestic violence a source of complete scorn. ‘Let Her Go’ tells a guy to grow up if he’s not taking his loved one seriously. And ‘Brother”s chorus of ‘go home’ is something every obnoxious lad should have tattooed on the back of their hand.
Exit the oddball, cometh the sweetheart. Mac’s sick and tired of being the crazy ringleader, but not to the extent that he ends up being some boring, holier-than-thou arsehole.
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