Leeches definitely have a distinct sound. Luckily, it’s one I’m completely on board for. After a triumphant year selling out shows in their loyal South West and storming crowds in support slots for the likes of Spring King and Kagoule, the Bournemouth trio rewarded all those loving new fans last week with their eagerly-anticipated second EP ‘Watusi’.
The entire EP melds together pretty nicely through the lilting progressions found in all four tracks, and It’s certainly a welcome remnant from the kooky, swirling sounds of previous tracks like ‘Regular’. Thankfully, the band’s more experimental muscles certainly get stretched again as shifting tempos and twisting sonic screeches blend with the infectious sound they’ve kept close. However, progression is welcomed and the dazed and dancey sounds of the Strange Bonds EP have been cleared out in favour of this sticky new sludge of equally catchy bangers that feel much grottier than their precursors.
Honestly – and I say this as a compliment – half the songs on this EP will pretty much drag you to the dancefloor and then cheerily proceed to gently beat you up. The EP storms in with absolute belter “All My Fun” which has the band wearing all their angst on their sleeves. Keeping the drums heavy to back up the glorious angst of the lyrics (I know I shouldn’t call them angsty twice in two sentences but honestly I’m not sure how else to adequately describe a hook that literally just calls out to “Somebody euthanase me, baby”), sure-fire funhouse riffs give way to skidding guitars tones and the sort of instinctively satisfying heaviness that’s become expected from every classic second release. The kook continues on “I Watch TV”, all of the melancholy remnants of all the angst leftover from the first track. An explosive chorus cements the track as one to be kept on repeat – perhaps a relief as it clocks in at the longest on the EP at only four minutes sharp. Lead single “Stranger” boasts the sort of bass riff that’d get anyone running into the pit, a lovely sludgy sound lifted by jangly guitars taking a line usually reserved for something carrying a much heavier tone. That being said, I’m obligated to admit that the main feat here is that they managed to use a phaser, tastefully, to good effect, in the foreground of a lead track, and have it sounding not naff but rather really Actually Quite Good. Talent. Finally, closer “Ugly” brings back some of that familiar jangle that older fans may be used to, and it’s used pretty well. A welcome but brief throwback that really holds the tone of some of their older stuff, it shows an appreciation for the development as a band that still fits as snugly on this release as it would on previous Eps.
What I love about Leeches is the passion felt emanating from every note – imagination and daring aside, you can hear from a mile off that this band is composed of three people loving every minute of playing these songs, and it’s that deafening joy that elevates the EP higher than even the sum of its parts. A hugely worthy listen to shake those January blues, Leeches seem to be grabbing 2018 by the scruff of neck and
I’m sure they’ll continue to rise if they keep putting out stuff like this.
UPCOMING LIVE SHOWS:
- 16th – London, Shacklewell Arms
- 18th – Bristol, Crofters Rights
- 20th – Bournemouth, Anvil
- 26th – Newcastle, Jumping Jacks
- 27th – Edinburgh, Bannermans
- 29th – Southampton, Joiners
- 30th – Oxford, The Cellar
- 31st – Brighton, Hope & Ruin
- 4th – Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
10th – Bristol, Exchange
Words by Bel Valerio.
All images courtesy of PR.