The Son(s) – Leviathan

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The Son(s) are something of a mystery. Beyond the music they release via Olive Grove Records, very little is known about the band. Are they one (possibly) or more musicians (maybe) and where do they hail from? (Somewhere). I’m sure we’ll find out one day and have a good old laugh together when the facts are laid bare. Meantime, we have an album (self-titled) which was critically well received and a new EP released on very limited edition cassette, called Leviathan.

The EP feels like a natural successor to the laid back, atmospheric and harmonic self-titled album. There’s a great sense of relaxation listening to this band in action and things get off to a very good start with ‘Roaring Round the House’. The vocal is exceptional and creates a nice warmth, while the addition of the music and backing vocals adds more texture to the overall sound and the whole things just sits together really well. ‘If I Hear You Talk Apostrophes Again…’ ticks the punctuation box the band so love and also happens to be a great track in the process. The sound is fuller, with a great thumping rhythm section driving the song forward. The main vocal is a little deeper this time around, but the fantastic harmonies from the backing vocals are here again. They also act as something of a counterpoint to the rhythm section, while the guitar gives the overall sound some really bright flashes. This one is infectious from the word go and a hugely enjoyable song.

‘Cocksure Boys’ slows things down a little. The tempo is a lot more relaxed than the previous track. A few more instruments are thrown into the mix with a piano sitting underneath the guitar and (possibly) a glockenspiel or some other percussion instrument adding another facet to the sound. On the surface it seems a fairly simple, slow number but have a closer listen and there are a lot of intricate goings on. Another slight shift in tempo and a fuller sound signal ‘Half Lived’. The bass sounds excellent, while the lovely guitar part literally teases out notes that hang in the air. There’s a depth to this track that, like ‘Cocksure Boys’, isn’t immediately apparent but the excellent production throws up more and more on further listens.

Penultimate track, ‘Shot Out a Cannon’ takes the tempo down a notch. There’s an almost jazzy feel to the song thanks to the drums but this is fleeting. The music is ambling along very nicely when the vocal appears like sunshine on a cloudy day. There’s an instant sensation of warmth and well-being. The final track arrives all too soon and opens with a really great guitar solo. The rich, resonant vocal comes in and once more the backing vocals are fantastic. The bass is a little more reserved this time, but does manage to keep things moving along nicely, before the song surprises you by stopping suddenly, signalling the end of a hugely enjoyable EP. The laid back sound of the debut album is still prevalent, but below the surface there’s a lot of different things happening. Vocally this is excellent, while musically it’s complex. Both elements together are simply wonderful and the production is fantastic allowing each song to breathe and grow naturally. Highly recommended.

Steve McGillivray

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