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Committed to bringing back the cassette tape and not in an annoying way, New Zealand’s The Leers have gifted us with a new album Are You Curious? Available on cassette tape and digital download alike. It’s Aussie nature to be sceptical of anything with a Kiwi background*, ever since it was proved that our mates across the Tasman technically invented the Pavlova, we have a right to furrow our brow. However when it comes to The Leers, we just have to let our rugby union and Pavlova beef go, because we need these guys’ tunes in our library.
If you’re strapped for good quality alt rock, then look across the ditch for The Leers and their infectiously groovy album Are You Curious?
The new LP houses 12 tracks that showcase the different dimensions to the band. Escapades is one minute and thirty seconds of heavy distortion, generous whammy bar use and intense guitar solos. It’s the kind of sound you’d expect to hear in our fave watering hole in the wee hours of the morning – if it wasn’t for #casinomike. Before you pass judgement, Are You Curious isn’t some doom metal record. The band play to their strength, and that is to encapsulate several different styles, resulting in an album with many layers to be explored.
In fact, the album title may be a dare by the band, as if goading you to delve into their rich blend of alternative rock. For example take Finally Happy, a slow burner that is at home snoozing in the afternoon sun. It has quite the sombre vibe to it, with lyrics “Will I finally be happy then?/or am I happy now?” taking us in to the melancholy side of The Leers. It’s a side they pull off well, with Beach Boy harmonies, slow drum beats and winding guitar strums.
Meanwhile I Can’t Cope sees The Leers show a sparse funk inspired sound courtesy of a cool bass line, quick spitting in the verses and and stacking of vocals in the chorus. The irony that I Can’t Cope deals with anxiety is not lost here, and the cool exterior the band put on makes the experience all the more vibrant. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the brilliant video for the song directed by dead-set legends THUNDERLIPS.
Using the enormous range of sounds afforded to them under the alternative rock umbrella, The Leers find themselves sitting pretty in the shade. It does mean that there is no element of risk to Are You Curious? but for now we’re satisfied with the cool sounds the boys have given us on this round.
Go grab the download of Are You Curious now, or better yet go to their website and order yourself one of those cassette tapes to get the retro experience of this album.
*Ed. Except when it comes to their music, as we’ve gushed over here and over here.
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