Grunge, Doom and ’60s Psychedelia: 1968 – ‘Salvation, If You Need…’ Album Review 

Discover how the band’s authentic, ‘loud as fuck’ mantra has reignited the currently downtrodden metal scene.

Forming back in 2013, the UK based band, 1968, have spent nearly a decade now perfecting their unique, 90s-inspired sound. Capturing a twenty-first-century approach to the Grunge scene since their debut EP, the band have helped to revive an authentic sound inspired by live performance- something often lost amid the oversaturated, technically-driven releases of recent years.

Now, with the release of their second album, Salvation, If You Need…, see how the band utilised the turmoil of the pandemic to produce their most definitive release to date

Initiating work on the album during the first wave of the pandemic, Salvation, If You Need… became an album of reflection, not on the external factors that surrounded it, but on the dynamic of the band itself. The final result: a stunning hybrid of ’60s psychedelia and ’90s grit that defines the band’s sound better than ever before.

For those unfamiliar with 1968, the sound captured throughout their discography rings reminiscent to Grunge legends, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, yet still carries subtle undertones of some of the greatest artists of the 1960s, with hints of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Jimi Hendrix seeping through.

Tracks, ‘Blackwing’, ‘Guts’ and ‘Eastern Wind’ showcase this nuance best. Finding a sound distinctive to them, it is here, within their unorthodox blending of genres, that the true sound of 1968 becomes prevalent. 

Experimental yet simultaneously capturing a familiar sound, these three tracks create a nod to a wide range of different bands including both Mudhoney and Deep Purple. What’s more, it is here where the members articulate the mantra of 1968 most overtly. Conveying their unfiltered, raw, ‘loud as fuck’ approach throughout, these moments of grit set 1968 apart from other bands on the scene- openly rejecting the commercialised, overly-produced sound seen all too often in recent years.

Although at times teetering on the brink of being too similar to acts such as Alice In Chains, for those seeking that ‘90s dose, ‘Trail of Dogs’ and ‘Here It Lies’ are the perfect discovery amid the album. With the powerful, emotion-fuelled vocals of frontman, Jimi Ray, and doom-orientated instrumentals throughout, the solemn and dissonant aura of the original Grunge scene is conveyed perfectly, capturing the energy and intensity that the band have in their live performances. 

In its entirety, the impression left by Salvation, If You Need… proves it to be the band’s strongest and most concise release to date. Whilst largely remaining loyal to the Grunge/Doom/Psychedelic sound they are most renowned for, there are still subtle hints that a new direction may be installed for 1968’s suture releases.

With slight parallels to Black Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’ in penultimate tracks ‘Small Victories’ and ‘Rise of The Night Hornets’, the album hints that a potentially more abstract future is installed for the band.

As a whole, Salvation, If You Need… is the perfect discovery for those left underwhelmed by the technically refined sound of the current metal scene.

Whether seeking out the grit and emotion left by the Grunge scene, the dissonance of Doom bands or the sepia-drenched rhythms of the 1960s, 1968 have both captured something new and provide that much-needed sense of nostalgia with their latest album.


Salvation, If You Need… is out now via No Profit Recordings and available on all major streaming platforms.


To keep up with 1968, follow the band via the links below!


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