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Angry Salad's debut album is energetic and fresh

Angry Salad
The Guinea Pig.
Breaking World Records.

By Ekrem Soylemez

My first reaction to Angry Salad was skepticism. The Guinea Pig's EP cover sports a picture of two furry guinea pigs eating lettuce. Interesting, but not necessarily promising. Was I ever wrong - it is fantastic.

Angry Salad has its roots in Providence, R.I. It began as a Brown University band. Last year, it won the Brown University radio station (WBRU) Rock Hunt from among 200 entries. Since graduation, the three musicians - Bob Whelan (vocals and guitar), Hale Pulsifer (drums and percussion), and Matt Foran (bass guitar, background vocals, and piano) - have moved to Boston to pursue their musical careers. They have opened for the Spin Doctors, Fishbone, and Dada, and they recently signed a recording contract with Breaking World Records of Cambridge.

Their sound as a whole reminds me most of REM and early XTC, particularly parts of English Settlement, though they also claim to be influenced by the Replacements and Jane's Addiction. The guitars are often reminiscent of U2, and vocalist Robert Whelan sometimes sounds like a cheerful Robert Smith of Cure fame.

The Guinea Pig EP is the band's debut album, though they've also released an eponymous cassette containing nine tracks. The seven tracks on Guinea Pig range from the pop hit "Dance" to the darker "Rico." "Dance" is the most well-known of the tracks, having been played several times a day last year on WBRU and nearby stations as a result of the band's victory in the Rock Hunt.

Angry Salad is energetic and fresh (one might even venture to say "crisp") and their music is cheering. The album is infectious. It will be one of those that requires chasing down and removing from your roommate's CD player whenever you want to listen to it.