Forming after the stalling of previous bands, dying to get back on the horse, five Bristol-based friends combined their respective talents and already-forged experience of the local circuit to bring a new venture to life – Saloon Dion. A concoction of punk meshed with nineties alt rock and a dose of new wave, Saloon Dion are cutting through the guitar sphere, shaping their own sound which is standing tall against the current saturate. Now, after a few years and more live appearances than one can possibly begin to count, this quintet has released their debut extended play, ‘Muckers’.
‘Muckers’ is hazy and nostalgic, everything from the crunchy guitar riffs and rowdy gang vocals a fleeting glimpse back into the formative years of jamming in whatever space will have you. As the title suggests, these five individuals are the best of friends, which is completely audible throughout the EP. Highlight ‘Heaven Sent’ boasts glorious gang vocals, the band’s chemistry chopping through the mix with every shriek and shout. The track chugs along, the guitars frantic and the rhythm section holding down the tightest of foundations.
David Sturgess’ bellowing vocal work on closer ‘You Want More’ is guttural and vivid, his vocal timbre deep, his performance collected but also with an edge of unpredictability; think David Byrne meets Ian MacKaye meets Crispin Hunt. That then combined with the frenetic duelling guitars of Tom Simpkins and Taryn McDonnell and ferocious rhythm section, made up of Luke Mullins and Ben Molyneux, creates a vivid soundscape, especially when the execution is as good as it is on this EP.
The EP is the culmination of two years of experimentation and sonic exploration, Saloon Dion finding their feet with their nostalgia-soaked yet modern sound. They cut to the chase, delivering nothing but hooks and festival-ready breakdowns. ‘Muckers’ is a breath of fresh air, backed by four razor-sharp and witty tracks. Their devoted cult following definitely can’t wait to be the ones to tell you ‘I told you so’ when this Bristol lot are tearing up the world’s biggest stages.
Words: James Mellen