Creating a tantalising yet portentous fusion of post punk and garage rock, Swedish trio Quantum Leap make their major entrance with a debut album which through its dark climes and apocalyptic tones makes for one hungrily infectious and enthralling proposition. No Reason, in the words of its introduction, “invites you to a heavy and dark feast celebrating the very last setting of the sun”, a beckoning as arousing as it is threatening.
Hailing from Uppsala, Quantum Leap consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Björn Norberg, bassist Andreas Hennius, and drummer Mats Gustavsson. With a diversity of musical backgrounds taking in thrash, death and black metal, electronica and pop, the three came together in 2014. A demo was released in 2016 after the band linked up with producer Tomas Skogsberg of legendary Sunlight Studios (Entomed, Refused, Backyard Babies, Dismember). That led to a contract with Swedish label Viskningar och Vrål (Whisperings and Growls), who now release the fiercely magnetic No Reason, the release again seeing the trio working with Skogsberg and featuring guest musicians in Lea Martinelle (saxophone), Rosa Kristalova (cello), Mattis Fredriksson (accordion), Daniel Söderberg (on modular synthesizer), and Janet Simmonds (backing vocals).
It opens up with That’s The Reason, a swiftly compelling trespass of post punk bringing an initial menace of sound before rumbling through ears on a rhythmically driven stroll wrapped in sonic dissonance. Norberg’s vocals, as strong and magnetic as the web of sounds around them, are soon accentuating the lure. It is a dark, suffocating, and invasively heavy confrontation but inescapably contagious with echoes of eighties bands such as Joy Division, Play Dead, and Leitmotiv to its rasping winds.
It is an outstanding start which swiftly aroused a keen appetite for things to come; one soon reinforced by the following In Between Worlds. It too springs from a raw sonic misting into a virulent attack, its swing eating at instincts and psyche with viral tenacity whilst spreading another exploration of stark, ravenous times. There is more of a noise infested rock ‘n’ roll attack to its post punk, bass and drums a rapacious incitement upon which guitars and keys spread a toxic glaze while escalating the infectious and fractious catchiness of the song.
With an even darker climate Blind comes next, the track a calmer but equally emotionally and atmospherically invasive proposal. It offers a more art/alternative rock spicing with not for the last time within the album a Bowie-esque hue which only adds to its persuasion before Yeah sees the band embrace a metal lined garage rock flavouring with matching success. The diversity within the band’s sound is in full swing at this point, each song revealing a new shade and flavouring to keep things unpredictable and intriguing. Trust quickly backs this variety up with its seventies psych toned dark rock. Though all uniquely different, the quintet of tracks so far all slip perfectly alongside each other, the alluring overall Quantum Leap voice uniting their eclectic characters.
The Fiction In The Daily Life bounds in with a mix of garage punk and heavy rock straight after; the excellent track swiftly stirring up attention and pleasure while Sea repeats that tempting straight after with its again Bowie reminding saunter. There is a definite Heroes like feel to the track which maybe does not lead it to impress as some of its companions within the album but only richly pleases within its fuzzy climate.
Through the bruising and hungrily rousing rock ‘n’ roll of All I Ever Wanted and the Bauhaus meets Wire like gothic/post punk air of I Don’t Know attention and enjoyment only escalated, both tracks unsettling magnetism while Dreaming taps a poppier gait to its darky lit romancing to equally attract. A bit like a blend of Modern English and Modern Eon with once more that hint of Bowie, the song entices from start to finish.
The album concludes with firstly the groove wired heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Mayday and lastly the senses consuming, imagination sparking sonic tides of Like A Memory From A Long Time Ago. With a melodic Skids like current ebbing and flowing in its infectiously sinister but thickly alluring ominous waters, it is a last entrapment for the suggestively impending apocalypse and another sepulchral proposal which is quite irresistible.
Quantum Leap have uncaged a debut which simply demands attention of the band and their dark foreboding layered sound…so stop reading and go explore.
No Reason is out now through Viskningar och vrål.
Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018
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