Salem: King Night

An aggressively regressive stew of cheap horror-movie atmospherics, booger-flinging beats, rudimentary rapping, and occasional (perhaps accidental) moments of genuine profundity, Salem’s King Night is an Insane Clown Posse record that thinks it’s too clever to be an Insane Clown Posse record. Unfortunately, this trio of drug-taking, trick-turning, laughably juvenile Midwesterners could stand to borrow an idea or two from the Juggalo playbook to juice up their limited bag of tricks. The album-opening title track establishes the King Night formula, with an otherworldly “O Holy Night” choral sample creating an undeniably creepy vibe as it hovers above subwoofer-shaking blobs of bass and a rinky-dink drum machine. For anyone who likes that song, Salem offers plenty more of the same on King Night, which assembles elements of shoegazer pop, Southern hip-hop, and New Age into corny makeout music for goth parties. Salem breaks out of the mood mold on the shock-rap ditty “Trapdoor,” a stab at “naughty” grossness that sounds like something Ween would’ve recorded in the early ’90s and promptly forgotten about once the Scotchgard wore off. The rest of King Night is, for the most part, similarly forgettable.

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