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- Globe Master by Leisure Birds
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First review of the week goes to Minneapolis “sci-fi garage” quartet Leisure Birds, who’ve got an album out with trusty cosmic adventurers Moon Glyph. The track titles are well Hawkwind...’SETI Signals’, ‘Silver Runner’, ‘Egyptian Ring’, ‘Guardians of Time’, ‘Globe Master’...it’s almost pastiche. Listening to the record I’m hearing a lot of Hawkwind too, but also a measured Can-like feel with pulsating kraut grooves and chanty vocals and a post-punky coldness to the clankily chiming reverbed interplay between the guitar and bass in places that’s reminding me of Joy Division.
At times I think the vocals can be a bit high in the mix and dramatic, like in the manic, churning ‘Egyptian Ring’, with tumbling beats and Doors-esque organ work already competing for your attention, and I prefer it when he opts for the cold, chanty delivery. The bass sound is great, really rich and boomy, leading the way with metronomic kraut riffs over which everyone else goes alternately cosmic and rocky. In places there’s quite a Hookworms/Spacemen 3 kind of feel to it, elsewhere the synths take centre stage.
On the second side, nearly ten minutes are dedicated to ‘Rediscovery Of Man Pt. I, II & III’, which opens with shimmering celestial synths before some dreamy reverbed vocals and guitar poke through in a way that reminds me of Anton from Brian Jonestown Massacre, and then the synth sounds gently sputter out for a brief celestial drone before a cold bass and drum groove comes in, and then some chiming hi-gain guitar and, yes, we’re very much in BJM territory again. There’s even a tambourine.
It’s a curious kind of hippie-kraut that I’m finding it hard to pin down. It’s playful and unrestrained and has all sorts of influences flying around but when they’re at their strongest is when they’re knocking out simple synth-heavy kraut grooves like at the end of ‘Guardians Of Time’, and I wish they’d stick to that rather than delving too deep into the proggy wilderness, but that’s a subjective gripe really ‘cause I think it’s a well formed album, I just want more of those deep krautrock grooves, which thankfully is exactly what album closer ‘Globe Master’ delivers.It comes with a 7” too! This has two shortish tracks called ‘Neptune, Uranus, Miranda, Saturn’ and ‘Jupiter, Io, Earth, Unknown’. The first has slow, pulsating synth drones and a whooshing scree like solar winds. It’s well cosmic yo. As for the other, well, you can probably make an educated guess. It’s like a welcome palate-cleanser after the sometimes jumbled and confusing but enjoyable album.
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