On “Always,” when Josey Scott sings, “I hear a voice say, ’Don’t be so blind’/ It’s telling me all these things that you would probably hide,” he’s addressing domestic abuse, but he could’ve just as easily been talking about Saliva’s decision to focus less on aggression and more on melody for Back Into Your System.
Throughout the album, due November 12, Saliva downplay their rap-metal roots, only bursting into full-on percussive Kid Rock-esque rhymes on “Raise Up” and in the chorus of the title track. Elsewhere, Saliva are in full-on melodic metal mode, sounding like a cross between the choirlike vocal harmonies of Def Leppard and the commercial guitar surge Nickelback.
The Nickelback influence comes as no surprise considering Scott’s friendship with their singer, Chad Kroeger, who recruited him for backup vocals on “Hero,” the feel-good hit from the “Spider-Man” soundtrack. But there are other forces at play on Back Into Your System.
“Holding On” starts with a bluesy slide guitar riff that sounds like Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, “Separated Self” offers moments of Korn-like guitar experimentation between melancholy guitar arpeggios, and “Rest in Pieces” is an arm-swaying ballad that sounds like a throat-knotting hair metal song from the ’80s. Of course, that’s largely because it was penned by Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, who bonded with Every Six Seconds and wrote the tune for Scott without even being asked.
Lyrically, Back Into Your System addresses dark themes, including mortality, substance abuse, shattered romance and loneliness, but ultimately Scott’s messages are positive (see “Saliva Shoot Down Domestic Abuse On New Single ’Always’ “ ). Even in the blackest of holes he finds a way to see the sun because, as he shouts in “Holding On,” “I gotta get on with living or get the hell on with dying.”
The singer has said the song “Weight of the World” will likely be the second single from Back Into Your System. The song’s guitars snarl and lunge, then back off for a sugar-sweet melody line that gradually builds into a triumphant chorus where Scott lays out his mission statement: “I carry the weight of the world as the past is unfurled, but I won’t stop to wonder.”