New - The Leap Year - Husker Don’t
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, The Narrowing, the sophomore offering from Perth’s (edit: NOT Adelaide!) The Leap Year, is imminent, officially out on Friday. I think every hardcore music fan has bands in their arsenal that play the role The Leap Year plays for me. For near a decade now, dating back to Wrob Schifferli and Martin Allcock’s old band Minor Ache, I have delighted in the Aussie’s somber, yet driving, brand of indie rock. However, no matter how loud I trumpet them, they just don’t seem to catch on.
Hopefully this new record will go a ways towards changing that.
The Narrowing demonstrates great reliability (or as reliable as a six-years-in-waiting follow-up can be), all the elements that made their previous records so enjoyable are still in place. The pristine guitar tones laid out with expressive and inventive technique. The warm melodic bass lines pushed by constrained, pulsating drum patterns. Tightly ranged melancholy vocals sit perfectly within the sound, giving a face to the warm heartache the band presents.
In my write-up about their previous record, I mixed up my Champaign “C” bands, saying that Jeff Garber’s Castor was a prevailing influence. There’s certainly a degree of that in play, but fellow 90’s Champbanians C-Clamp play a much stronger influence. Going back to my original point, following in the footsteps of these heartbreakingly unheralded Midwesterners leads to little surprise that The Leap Year doesn’t get the credit they deserve, but the new record adds some new tricks to the mix.
The addition of keyboard/trombonist Melanie Price has lead to a thicker, more dynamic sound, and a deft touch of female vocals to balance out the sound. While their math-influenced hooks are still prominent, there is a bit more inclination to let the reigns go on some of the bigger choruses. Particularly on the first single “Town Crying” (linked at the beginning of the post) and subsequent track “Summer Jaws”. The band absorbs these elements into their sound seamlessly and the contrast they create just make them that much stronger.
No Spotify yet on this one, but head on over to Bandcamp to give it a listen. I’m not crazy, these guys (and gal) are that good. - MO