Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Album Review :: Beliefs - Leaper



November 13 2015 (Hand Drawn Dracula Records)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

‘Leaper’ is the second album from Toronto-based shoegaze duo Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe and has been over two years in the making, largely because of the sheer number of other projects that the two are involved in at the same time. You wouldn’t know it from listening, though, as ‘Leaper’ is as tight and cohesive an album as you would expect from a band who live in one another’s pockets 24/7.

It is also rather noisy. The band came together because of their love of the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Korody and Crowe share Kevin Shields’ stratagem of turning the volume and the fuzz up to the maximum, with vocals so low and far back into the mix as to be almost inaudible at times.

To this end, current single ‘1992’ is a perfect microcosm of the entire album, bubbling along as it does in a darkly optimistic sort of way. Which isn’t to say that ‘Leaper’ lacks variety. The tempo drops down on the suffocatingly moody ‘Drown’, whilst toning down the fuzz on ‘Colour Of Your Name’ leads to something reminiscent of The Wedding Present at their finest.

If there is one criticism to be made of ‘Leaper’ is that it is rather lacking in standout moments. The title track has a lovely swirling, spiralling intro but quickly reverts to type, and pushing Korody’s vocal more to the fore on ‘Morning Light’ is an interesting diversion. On the other hand, it is a very easy record to listen to, departing from that MBV template in being warm and enveloping where it could so easily have been harsh and disjointed. The perfect record for an autumnal day, really.

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