Salvatore Rex- Home Has An Always Open Door (2013)

Posted: January 18, 2013 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
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Salvatore is no stranger to ITR?. He is an occasional contributor to our blog, plus his music has been featured here in the forms of Twincities and this self-titled solo project. We wrote up Days in Vice about 2 years ago, and to say he’s come a long way is a major understatement. He’s been an older brother to me since the age of 6, and I’ve had the pleasure to see his sound progress and mature. The first time I saw him play live was a cozy, little show in E.’s basement on my birthday; though the bastard never did play “Freebird”, his honest, humble style of playing will suck you in with every note.

I’m preparing you right now: you will cry. No matter who you are, how Über-masculine or unemotional you claim to be, his lyrics will move you. The reason for this is simple: we’ve all been in his shoes. Maybe not the same style or size, but we’ve all been on the bad end of break-ups. We’ve all felt used and forgotten. We’ve all been crushed by the weight of the world, so heavy that you lose the ability to pull yourself out of bed. He just expresses in words what we’re all afraid to. The songs range from sad to ultra-sad to sad-yet-inspirational, and to have all those shades of blue in one album and not make it uninteresting is a miracle on its own.

For 9 tracks, Salvatore Rex brings you down, brings you back up a little, and then throws you right back down. This emotional roller coaster covers love, loss, depression, war, and hope, and wraps it up in a neat, little audible package. My favorite track was “Hospital Song” because the horn in the background and the beautiful harmony  give it this haunting sound that gave me chills. You see through his eyes a story of someone giving so much to a person, literally doing everything possible for them, and then being replaced. Maybe I love it so much for personal reasons, but you can’t listen to this album without this track standing out.

“A Gravestone to My Love” was the other stand-out track, but not for the reason one might expect. In this song is the moment every listener of Salvatore Rex waits for: a glimmer of hope. While listening, you almost become one with him, and eventually you get to the point of giving up on life (probably about 10 minutes in). And in the midst of your wallowing and whatnot, you experience the writer finally put his foot down on the grief. The last line sums it up, “I said goodbye like I’m doing right now/This is the last song that I’ll ever write for you.” It comes as a surprise, but yet empowers you and makes you feel like you can move on from your own troubles.

Rating: I’ll be honest, Days in Vice wasn’t my favorite. It felt sort of manufactured, as if it was written for the album. Home Has An Always Open Door has almost the exact opposite feel. Each song is like a story being told casually from Sal to every listener (maybe over a beer or a grilled cheese). That style is also what sucks you into every song. Because you connect on such a personal level, you fall when he falls, you stumble when he stumbles, but you also rise when he rises. And that personable, humble feeling from his recording is exactly what you get from him in person. Even if he tours around the world, or gets picked up by big label, he’ll still play a set just for you, in his kitchen, in the middle of a blackout.  4.5/5 kegs for a fantastic album.

4.5 kegs



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