Album: You Took the Sun When You Left
Label: Prosthetic Records
Genre: Hardcore/ Powerviolence
Country: Manchester, UK
Release Date: August 24th, 2018
Leeched is a burgeoning band that hails from Manchester, UK. Their debut album, “You Took the Sun When You Left”, releases at the heels of their previous EP which was itself released less than a year ago. Although my music tastes tend to lean towards the ‘progressive’, after giving a listen to “Nothing Will Grow From the Rotten Ground” (EP), all I have to say is that I was really looking forward to reviewing their newest effort.
The album starts with a fury as the guitar teases what is to come with the first dissonant riff of the album before the band explodes together into the main riff of the song. Less than 20 seconds into the album and I already had whiplash from head-banging. The first 3 songs on the album serve as a great introduction on what this band can do. Great pounding rhythms and grooves that give way to denser passages as the band slows down the tempo at a seconds notice eventually leading the way to one of favorite tracks of the album ‘By the Factories’.
At this point, the album really starts to pick up. The riffs in this song really shine. If you didn’t feel like starting a mosh-pit before this song, well, now you do. The grooves are constant as the album continues with “Guilt’, another favorite song of mine from the album. This track just sounds heavy. Pinch harmonics and pick/string scratching can be heard all throughout the song giving it a dark aesthetic. You are then given 2 seconds of rest before ‘A Mouth Full of Dirt’ hits you in the face with that fast-paced and thundering opening riff. The song continues and develops that brutality up until the halfway point in the song where things start to slow down with some heavy guitar/bass chugging. Eventually, the song wraps up giving way to the only instrumental track on the album ‘Born in Sand’.
Unfortunately, this is where I get lost. ‘Born in Sand’ is the second longest track of the album at just under 4 minutes but, it does not go anywhere. I guess it does build up some and adds a bit to the general atmosphere of the album with the guitar feedback and sparse but ominous drums however; it does so at a great cost. After 6 tracks of building and maintaining momentum, it is all abruptly taken away. Even after track 8, ‘Raised by Lead’ is finished, I still feel disappointed with the abrupt change in the intensity level from earlier in the album. ‘Hollow-Point Weddings’ does a good job at bringing me back to the level of energy that I had before the instrumental track but then that energy is itself taken mostly away by track 9 ‘Harrow the Pastures’. At slightly under 6 minutes, this is the longest song on the album. The first half of it is great and is up to par with the music from the first half of the album but the second half devolves into ambient guitar feedback until the track finishes. The saving grace for the second half of the album comes with the last song, the album’s title track. It is the third longest song on the album but I wish the band had followed the format they used with this song for the other two that I pointed out earlier.
This last song comes out heavy and slow before turning into a frenzy of hardcore. It seems like the band understands that this is their last chance to leave a lasting impression and they go all out at the beginning and end the song with a very satisfying sense of finality as the tempo again slows down but without any sacrifice to the heaviness and energy that they started out with.
As an overall impression, it seems like the band is still trying to figure out what works for them and how to make sure their ideas and musical vision translate to the individual and that is completely expected for a band at this stage. The music itself is great but the flow of the album is disjointed which became a detriment to the overall package and energy level.
Leeched had a lot to say with their first full length release and, although there was some stumbling towards the end, they managed to deliver some infectiously good music. The members of the band should be very proud of this album. I really enjoyed my time listening and re-listening to it. This is music that is full of raw energy and is very fun to listen to and I’m sure others will feel the same way.
Stand Out Tracks:
• “By the Factories”
• “You Took the Sun When You Left”
1. Cripple The Herd
3. The Stone And The Steel
4. By The Factories
6. A Mouth Full Of Dirt
7. Born In Sand
8. Raised By Lead
9. Hollow-Point Weddings
10. Harrow The Pastures
11. You Took The Sun When You Left
Total Playing Time: 33:36