Salim Nourallah

REVIEW: Salim Nourallah “A Nuclear Winter”


Salim Nourallah – A Nuclear Winter

Despite the foreign name, Salim Nourallah is a bonafide Texas singer-songwriter/producer with this his 8th studio CD. He explained that many songs on this collection were exhumed from a rough time in his life & this is why he calls it his “nuclear winter.”

Salim Nourallah

Produced by ex-Australian-band member The Church’s Marty Willson-Piper (electric guitar/bass) & Salim (vocals/acoustic guitar/bass) the 10-track A Nuclear Winter (Drops June 23–State Fair/Happiness Records) was recorded in studios in Dallas, Austin & Nashville. There were some detours, roadblocks & a pandemic but ultimately the music emerged.

Several songs have an indie quality but not a garage-band approach. They’re well-distinguished with assured ensemble playing. It’s quite different from the abundance of singer-songwriter material that hits the market. Those basically cookie-cutter tunes & what’s expected from a singer who warbles at the microphone.

Fortunately, Salim understands the genre, a youthful tone spun over a web of jangling guitars with all the necessary rock intonations that make for an exciting showcase. Toward the coda of the tune “Hazy Morning Glow,” Salim’s support lets loose with stirring instrumentation.

A fine vocal emanates on “Loved By You,” which is a fairly cliched title, but the tune displays a tight groove & Salim’s vocal is confident. Nourallah’s obviously a good ballad singer & this tune reminds me a little of what Phil Collins once did.

There’s an under-the-surface current of the melodic wistfulness of The Church, but I guess that can’t be helped since Marty has a hand in it. But what seeps from his touch is the excellent original, creative & masterful style of that band. This influence on Salim is applied with such fine human chemistry. As I said many tunes have an indie-band tunefulness. “I Don’t Know,” is punchy, jangly & is like dough rolled around on a wooden tray in the lightweight but favorable song styles of the Buzzcocks & Nick Lowe.

“You Are Beautiful,” has a haunting 70s caress. At no time does Salim come off too heavy-handed or aggressive as Tom Verlaine’s Television or Howard Devoto’s Magazine. “The Sound of Suffering” is excellent. Tight, tough & tantalizing. Salim continues with “(I Can’t Take) Another Heartbreak,” where his vocal tonality is set in a pure rock texture. It’s a simple song with a steady beat but it’s the vocal that’s the wand being waved over the tune. Great rock song. “Invisible Man,” goes even further. Pure Graham Parker raunch. Fasten your seat belts.

Highlights – “Hazy Morning Glow,” “Loved By You,” “You Are Beautiful,” “The Sound of Suffering,” “(I Can’t Take) Another Heartbreak,” “Avalanche” & “Invisible Man.”

Musicians – Joe Reyes (electric guitar), Richard Martin (keyboards), Jason Garner (bass/drums) & John Dufilho (drums) with Paul Averitt, Billy Harvey & Dare Mason (backing vocals), & Nick Earl (electric guitar on “Avalanche”).

B&W photo courtesy of Salim’s website gallery. The 39-minute CD @ +

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