Time away from the computer and reviewing I’ve still managed to keep an ear to the ground, eyeing up gigs, listening to new music and trying to keep my finger somewhere near the pulse. During my exploration of local events, it becomes evident that The Leon Daye Band, a four-member alternative rock group from Cirencester, has been making quite an impact. They have been actively performing in the local music scene, and after reviewing their track Money Tree, it’s clear why they’ve garnered attention. So when the band’s debut album, crash-landed on the doormat I was eager to catch up and see what I’ve been missing over the past few months and hear just why they’ve become a live favourite around these parts.
The opening pound of Beneath The Fold sees the band signal their intent from the off, a salvo of drums is quickly joined by an infectious groove, while Leon delivers a powerful, strutting lead vocal that lurches for attention from the get go. A choral hook and a brief solo later and voila, one spiky lead track that’ll have you propelled to your feet, primed and ready for what’s set to follow.
The title track captivates listeners from the start, commencing with a distant, fleeting feedback howl. It then evolves into a mesmerizing indie masterpiece, taking us on a journey of contemplation, shimmering with musical brilliance for a glorious five minutes. The One ensues with the rhythmic beats of Hannah Butler’s drums, seamlessly joined by Mike Herbert’s resolute riff that could easily belong to the Stereophonics’ repertoire. A delightful twist of sixties harmonies then propels the song towards yet another instantly memorable chorus.
Elsewhere Faith sees those harmonies raise their welcoming head once more, whilst finding time to let Herbert off the leash for a brief classic rock like solo. Breathe is all rolling drums and a James Dean Bradfield like lead vocal, while Stone Cold Mama is an undeniable slice of swaggering rock ‘n’ roll complete with a riff as instant as that of ;Lust For Life;.
Rounding Crash Land off is the aforementioned Money Tree, an orgy of muscular blues riffs and flailing sticks that still grips like the first embrace, finishing the eight track affair with a real flurry that’s bound to send you crashing back to the start, eager for another spin.
The Leon Daye Band will be stomping up a mud hole in a pub or a field near you real soon, so if you have a thing for alternative rock, I highly recommend checking them out and taking a few quid with you so you bring a slice home in the form of Crash Land.
By: Will Munn (Rhythm & Booze)