Creating a sparkling clang of noise pop with indie breeding and a raw slither of punk, the sound of US band The Persian Leaps is one of those propositions which you do not realise how much you are enjoying it until it departs the ears. Certainly that was the effect of their new EP Drive Drive Delay, an encounter which made a strong if not exactly overwhelming start but by its third song had feet dancing to its tune and by the close urged an immediate need to press play all over again. It is hard to declare the offering as a major breakthrough for the Saint Paul in Minnesota hailing band, but it has plenty to awaken a real appetite for more and the potential of that upcoming moment.
The band’s seeds began with singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg, who came up with the name in a doodle whilst attending a college Greek Archaeology course. Using the name to write music independently over many years, sound inspired by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub, he eventually brought the band to full life in 2012 with the expansion of the line-up. Last year saw the release of their acclaimed debut EP Praise Elephants, a well-received proposition now potently backed and at times surpassed by Drive Drive Delay.
Fire Starter sets things off and as mentioned at the start, makes a good if not exactly attention grabbing opening to the release. With thick chords and keen rhythms shaping its body after an initial vocally abrasing start, the song jangles and sonically sparks in ears with agreeable responses but there is something missing energy wise and exposed further by subsequent songs. Nevertheless bright harmonies and that persistent discordance clad ring of the guitars ensures it is no throwaway offering, just a less striking one especially once the following Pretty Boy takes over. The song swings with hefty beats from drummer Michael McCloskey across the caustic flame of Forsberg’s guitar whilst his great vocals, accompanied by the band, bring vibrant colour to the already tenacious mixture. An old school punk spice lures at the heart of the track and is especially delicious, recalling the likes of The Lurkers and the pop punk of the Radiators, whilst the song as a whole pushes Drive Drive Delay to loftier heights.
The next up (Goodbye to) South Carolina flows through ears on a scuzzy tide of riffs but with a raw bait courted by an almost spatial melodic flaming which is almost Birdland like in sonic enterprise. Like the first song, it does not stir the imagination and emotions as its predecessor but still makes a tasty appetiser with its great acidic twang for the final pair of outstanding songs.
Truth = Consequences is a fiery croon of sound around a similarly delivered mellow caress of vocals. The track shimmers and bellows with creativity as again riffs and hooks glow with sonic heat and enterprise whilst the throaty basslines of Brad Hendrickson simply enslave the appetite in the short but riveting encounter. It is the new peak for the EP but straight away eclipsed by the excellent Permission. The closing song swings in on a rhythmic rumble clad in the fuzzy temptation of guitar, swaggering with melodic radiance and thickly barbed bass tones. That My Bloody Valentine influence is a loud whisper across the evolving landscape of the track, but equally there is unique freshness to the virulence and character of the hooks and winy grooves which vein the warm if volatile ambience of the triumph.
The EP is a potent introduction to newcomers to The Persian Leaps like us and in hindsight an impressive continuation of the qualities in the emerging band that their fans already knew about. It may have made a slow impression initially but more of the same ahead would certainly go down a treat.
The Drive Drive Delay EP is available now via Land Ski Records and digitally @ http://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/
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