AfterDark’s Dean Hodge reviews the new single by Some Kind Of Leader.Tracklisting: The Flake/My Lord/Two Pair (feat. Cara Elise)
Following the technicolour indie rock of their debut album Dog Club released last year, Cardiff rock revivalistsSome Kind Of Leader make a welcome return with newest single The Flake (released on Broken Yoke Records).
Produced by Cian Ciarán (of Super Furry Animals and Zefur Wolves fame) at Strangetown Studios in Cardiff, The Flake sees the band testing the musical waters once more with a propulsive acid-tinged hook anchored in late 80’s jangly guitar-pop and the early 90’s indie-rave scene. The track opens on a surging riff which glides along a spiral of hypnotic techno-adorned synths plucked straight from the heydays of the Hacienda. The influence of Mr Ciarán from the other side of the production board seeps through here, with his leftfield approach adding a further dosage of 90’s dust to the track.
As well as The Flake, the single release comes with two B-sides – one of the timeless perks of the archetypal ‘single’ release that has become something of a rarity in the current digital age. Both tracks will already be familiar to SKOL’s disciples – with My Lord helmedfrom their aforementioned debut album Dog Club released last year, and Two Pair being their inaugural single release another few years back – but both are welcome additions here and serve as ideal tasters for newcomers to the band. The tracklisting ordered back-to-front mirrors as an overview of the band’s journey so far, from the beginning to the present day.
My Lord, for me, was one of the standouts on Dog Club, with its apocalyptic vibe and searing riff that gives a subtle nod to John Squire and sounds as if it could be a castaway track by Stone Roses from their Second Coming-era or an obscure Seahorses B-side. Dense, bass-driven grooves give way to a cascading chorus and an almighty vocal refrain that sounds as if it is screaming from a landslide in the distance, before crawling back amidst an outro of jangling guitar licks.
Check out the official clip for My Lord (directed by Cain Edwards)
Two Pair (featuring Baby Queens alumni Cara Elise on co-vocal duties) is a seven-minute psychedelic-blues odyssey and an early indicator of the rootsy, blues-driven, neon-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll sound which the band have since veered down further. Cara Elise’s soft-as-snow vocals nicely compliment lead singer Ali Price’s gruff tone, with mellifluous guitars adding to the track’s hazy, comatose vibe.
Some Kind Of Leader are very much a band not afraid to explore the vast divisions of rock’s rich tapestry and stamp their own individuality, while maintaining a sense of fun that has long been missing in the rock scene in recent years. The Flake is a boisterous indie-disco jam from a band still finding their feet musically and carving their own sound, but all the while enjoying the ride wherever it takes them.
By Dean Hodge
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