I do like it when a band describes themselves as something and it turns out to be true. The amount of times I’ve read a bio that describes the band as “Leonard Cohen mixed with Nick Drake and Crowded House” only to find an electronic duo from Belfast, making music in their aunties loft. The Leon Daye Band from Cirencester tell the world that they are alternative rock, and after thirty seconds of listening to their debut 8-track album, you nod and agree. Yes, the Leon Daye Band is alternative rock, and proudly so.
If you like bands like Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes, Nine Inch Nails and Foo Fighters, the chances are you’re going to lap this up like a husky in summer. It’s a familiar yet comforting lineup of drums, bass, two guitars and vocals (Leon Daye reminding me of a mix of Roger Daltrey and Meatloaf) and the songs are surprisingly catchy and memorable, on repeat listen the songs seep into your ears and feel like they’ve been around for decades.
Maybe this is the real gift here, it’s a little like what Foo Fighters have done so well, sounding like all of those artists in your record collection, taking things from here and there and producing something that is instantly relatable.
‘Beneath The Fold’ sounds like Queens of the Stone Age, title track ‘Crash Land’ is 90’s Radiohead with it’s shoe gazing intro, ‘The One’ reminds me of ‘Dakota’ by Stereophonics and ‘Stone Cold Mama’ is pure ‘Are You Gonna be my Girl’ by Jet (which, of course is ‘Lust For Life’ by Iggy Pop), there is also a hint of ‘Mr. Brightside’ by The Killers on ‘Breathe’ but this is why it’s so liekable because it’s what you and the band have been listening to.
All in all I enjoyed the album, to be frank, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it but then these were bands I used to listen to so why would I not enjoy it, and this is why this band will pack out festival audiences and venues because the songs hold up. I would have liked the bass a bit stronger in the mix – and maybe a change of tone here and there, I’m partial to a Duff McKagan clanky Fender Precision tone to cut through – but as a collection of songs that you will listen to over and over and pick out your favourite tunes and will find yourself singing along to very quickly, it’s very good.
So, in short, if you like any of the bands or artists I’ve mentioned – apart from maybe Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and Crowded House – check Leon Daye Band out because you won’t be disappointed.