THE SALADS Fold A To B (Kindling/Sonic Unyon) Rating: NN Rating: NN
A jovial foursome of well-coiffed guys who've been pals since elementary school, the Salads have become a local semi-institution through their wacky Salad Gold nights at the Reverb. On their third studio album they try to replicate the dynamic live energy that gets scenesters busting moves to their Fishbone-ish fusion of explosive punk, ska and rock, but fall short of the mark. Fold A To B is hit-and-miss, vacillating between buzzsaw guitar-drenched hardcore tracks and booty-shakin' ska sans horns, with dribbles of generic alt-rock power ballads seeping in through the cracks. But it's the less aggro numbers -- like the quirky late-summer pop of Who's That Kat? -- that make this disc. The Salads launch Fold A To B at the Reverb Friday (February 28).