9/10 Clinton Staff review, 21 November 2012
Leeds. I’m in it today. It’s raining, almost pitch black and completely grim. This unrelenting, unremitting greyness is maybe why it produces so many great underground bands and, of course, has spawned the worlds greatest record shop even if we do say so ourselves.
This is a compilation of Leeds groups courtesy of the good people at Sturdy records. The first two tracks are both killers. T.O.Y.S produce a blitzkrieg slice of aggressive pop music that shits all over their underwhelming London (almost) namesakes expertly produced by Leeds’s real own Steve Albini, Ross Halden. The World Service dish up a really impressive slice of Belle and Sebastian pop which would sit in perfectly on ‘If You Are Feeling Sinister’. Men Only give us a minor key shambling C86 jangle made all the more poignant that leader Pete Sykes tragically passed away last year. A truly gorgeous recording.The Lodger fans (and there used to be loads) may be interested in the The Birthday Kiss’s glossy Saint Etienne styled synth pop and The French Defence prove that Owen Lloyd isn’t just a box to box midfield dynamo but can produce sensitive, angry acoustic pop with the best of them. Mind your language though, Owen, this is a family CD. There are also a couple of names familiar to Norman Records shoppers in Downdime, This Many Boyfriends and The Wind Up Birds and a whole slew of things I’ve not mentioned, most of which I like, some I don’t but that’s the nature of compilations but this is a pretty essential purchase for those wanting to seek out a few new names to add to Leeds rich musical heritage.
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