Though the 'Land of Salvation and Sin' is steeped in tradition, the Georgia Satellites make it sound like virgin territory. This is a coming-of-age album for the band, whose first two efforts had energy to burn but not enough musical inspiration. Good-ol'-boyisms dominated the Satellites' material, and the reductive riffing of too much of their music made it seem as if Bachman-Turner Overdrive had motored south. The novelty appeal of "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" marked the band as a one-hit wonder, and the follow-up album was a commercial stiff.... Read More
The Satellites clearly faced a grow-or-die challenge with album 3.
The musical range and emotional richness of In the Land of Salvation and Sin suggest that these guys play best when their backs are to the wall. "Another Chance," the album's first single, shows that struggle and survival are as integral to the album as salvation and sin. Dedicated to Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane, whose music with the Faces has long been a Satellites touchstone, the acoustic anthem is every bit as Southern as one would expect but miles removed from the bar-band basics that once fully defined the Satellites' music.
The gritty balladry of "All Over but the Cryin'" and the bittersweet lyrics of "Sweet Blue Midnight" signal the maturity of Dan Baird as a songwriter, while key contributions from Ian McLagan (veteran keyboardist from the Faces) and singer Nicolette Larson give extra texture to the band's guitar-driven sound.
While the album elevates the Satellites to a new artistic orbit, the high-octane rock of "I Dunno," "Slaughterhouse" and "Dan Takes Five" shows that the group hasn't become too refined to slam the pedal through the metal. If Keith Richards and the late Gram Parsons had been able to continue their musical friendship, they would have felt right at home In the Land of Salvation and Sin. (RS 569)