The Lepers – S/T

I was once told by a fellow reviewer that promos received in smashed condition were destined to be bad. This CD arrived not with tattered inserts or bio sheets but a broken jewel case that, when opened, spilled the CD out and into my lap. Well, maybe it’s a good thing. A greeting hello perhaps? Anyhow, Caulfield Records’ sticker of approval appears neatly as well, and, being a fan of Caulfield bands Mineral, Christie Front Drive, MIJ, and Proudentall, I’m thinking the aforementioned destiny incorrect. The name The Lepers and cover art give me a dark feeling. Not only because it’s cracked but because it reminds me of the movie Ben Hur, and that is always a memory accompanied by eerie emotions.
The first taste is haunting and very Frank Black-ish. I wasn’t aware, however, that people actually used that flicker affect knob turned all the way up. The one that quickly causes fade in and out. Anyhow, the song carries on quite noisely and procession driven with hard guitar grinds throughout the short two-and-a-half minute track. I enjoy the second song “Wasteland” a bit more. It again has Modest Mouse Isaac Brock-ish and Frank Black-ish vocals and a slow drum circle effect that sounds a bit like nature films when the vicious lion is creeping up on its prey. There are quiet chants behind the acoustic strums. Again, it’s a short track.
I’m not sure why, but this LP gives me the unfinished feeling. It somewhat drags in it’s dark mood. For instance, a Pixies album is inclusive of the happier arranged songs that cause sing-along and repetition. These songs are more of an “Ed Is Dead” over-and-over feeling. Thick with noise, cymbal use, overlaying vocal tracks and range, and deep, dark drum beats, it only sometimes brightens up with high-pitched “ooooooo’s.” Sort of again like the cover art. Sure, you can look at it intensely and wonder if the photograph is of poisonous berries inside a thought process and what it has to do with lepers, or you can see it simply as some grapes inside of a moon or sphere.
It should be said that the band consists only of two members. In some cases that’s obvious and in some cases impressive. They are a touring group and will be releasing a second album shortly. They also come from Nebraska with the strength of strong weather to coat their style. I’m not sure the quality of danger or fear can be eliminated enough to enjoy this entire LP for myself. I don’t find much standoff-ish about the band lyrically as far as I’m able to tell or much different in song memorabilia. There is the sixth track “When The Party’s Over” that includes a female backup vocalist, a softer feel, and more depth in simplicities. It screams “I don’t want to see her get killed before we make it back to the bedroom.” I can’t help but find it a comfortable side to set it for a more suited day. It is copy righted for last year, as metal was coming back into foreign genres in sparing pieces.