Lives in Devil City
Grand Family Entertainment
Ottawa’s Sal Piamonte has crafted a rare CD that manages to showcase both songwriting and performance right out of the starting gate with all cylinders firing. We’re not just talking about the skills but the presentation as well. This is a slick, major label looking and *sounding* tour de force. Aside from a badass Digi-Pack movie poster-looking sleeve and booklet, Piamonte has managed to assemble a million dollar record on an indie budget. And what a record it is; One part balls-in-your-face misogynist swagger and bravado like tried and true ‘Drop D’ tuned bands a la Nickelback, Theory of A Deadman and Finger Eleven; another part Kid Rock good-time party anthems; and all out exceptional Hedley-styled pop vocals, hooky rock riffs, and speaker busting production.
You gotta hear it to experience it. In another era the opening quartet of tracks off the top of the album of Take Me Home, Devil Woman and Get Up, Get Up and the balladry of Just A Little Bit would have meant a whole A-side of charting singles. Piamonte has loosely woven the tracks into a narrative of dark and dangerous exploits in the metaphorical Devil City. Imagine comic icon Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City’ as a Broadway musical. The theme over all is the literal and figurative fornication of Piamonte; giving it (Nasty Girl, Devil Woman, Do Watcha Say and Go All Night) and receiving it (Get Up, Get Up, Shining Star and High Road). But the melodies are woven in such a way that the songs aren’t bleak but actually uptempo and hopeful. Prime example is Tonight which is a rock dance party with a message and might be the best prospect for shaking up commercial radio where Auto-Tune and vacuous performers abound. Alas, Piamonte’s built himself a hard act to follow. This is a solid debut that’s going to be very difficult to top.