Long-time readers of this blog and listeners to my Dandelion Radio show may well remember my fondness for a Minneapolis band called Ugly Motors, who took a standard garage format and imbued it with something very different with the result that they sounded very little like anyone else.
Wade, bassist with Ugly Motors, got in touch to tell me about a new band he's in called Leach, and I'm very glad he did. Their self-titled EP showcases a group in some ways very different from UM, but in some ways quite similar. There's a formula here, and a healthy desire to fuck with it, that's entirely in keeping with that earlier band's approach; except the formula's different and at times Leach fuck with it to within an inch of its life.
Opener 'The High Cost of Low Wages', for instance, is a high-octane screamer, fuelled by the larynx of the brilliantly named Jumpin' James Jordan. Musically, though, there's a quiet sophistication that play beneath the sub-hardcore façade. Such low-key experimentalism reveals itself steadily over the EP, in the frantic tempo changes of '#2', for instance, or 'Family Vacation', where a stunted, brooding opening ill-prepares you for the explosion of sound, quasi-militaristic snare work and raging guitars that occurs mid-track, before we're back again, grinding to a slow-churning close.
Don't get me wrong: whatever sophistication or experimentation is present within Leach is of a subdued kind, offering thrilling variations on a format that's never allowed to become sterile or predictable. There's a love for the format evident too, however, which is at least as important in making this release such a joy to listen to.
The EP's available for free here. I suggest you get it.