The north-of-Boston rock trio, based exactly where their name suggests, dropped their debut EP, Black Books, back in January, and it’s a garage-pop and surf-rock mixer that puts a fresh spin on tested sounds. Since its release, the band has issued a series of accompanying videos, and today — just as the Eastern Massachusetts senses are numbed back into a decrepit state of accepting that springtime will never, ever return to our shores — along comes the video for “Rumblr.”
The track is a gritty, hip-shaking number that tumbles along to the imagined sights of a bonfire beach party, and that’s exactly what the video projects.
“Footage came from a 1964 surfsploitation film called The Beach Girls and the Monster,” relays guitarist/vocalist Jack Salem. “It’s actually a pretty awful film to watch because it’s so spectacularly poorly made. Every shot gets held just a little too long and things just look cheap. We chose it to go with ‘Rumblr’ mostly because the footage worked with the song. The song already has a very ’50s/’60s rock n’ roll stomp (we are preemptively suing the family of Bo Diddley to avoid future litigation, because we learned nothing) and I wanted to have a backdrop of something of the time.”
But this isn’t some retro hipster kitsch shit.
“It’s not an ironic ‘so bad, it’s good’ thing,” Salem adds. “That’s the most tired, lazy shit possible. Salem Wolves is thoroughly anti-irony. We don’t like things that are bad because they’re bad or try and cultivate detachment. We’re magpies: we collect shiny things and we love them because they glint and glimmer in their own way. Even a boring, wildly inept movie like this has charms that you can take pleasure without positioning yourself as a king of trash.”
The “Rumblr” video is the latest in a series of clips for each track on Black Books, an EP that was recorded in Somerville’s Napoleon Complex Studios and engineered and produced by Soft Pyramids’ Shaun Curran. “It was very cold when we recorded it,” says Salem.