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Children of Leir

Children of Leir (Simulation)

By • Mar 14th, 2015 • Category: long players

I can heartily recommend this as a soundtrack to a dog show. Not just any dog show, mind: we’re talking the biggy daddy of them all; Crufts. Oh yes. A happy accident perhaps, as that is what the telly box is shoving down my throat as I turn up the tunes but, then again, the album does feature a shapely horse’s arse on the cover so it must have been in the runes. Fate decrees this marriage and they shall forever be linked in Chateau Vosne.

Specifically we are viewing canine agility. Or canine, “I’ll do anything you want, just bloody feed me”. A curious mix with the ominous rumbles coming out the speakers but hey – works for me.

From the bass heavy beginning – ‘Drowning in Fear’ – Children of Leir come brooding at you in a sinister fashion. Glacial guitars, basic but effective drums and a thoroughly menacing aesthetic. And were it not for the dubby, groovy, aforementioned bass making one’s hips wriggle of their own free will one would be tempted to lock doors and baton down the hatches [whatever that actually means] to keep the pleasing sense of dread at bay.

Not that Fido on the television is responding as such. I’m guessing they’re not playing it on set. Spoilsports.

My co-conspirator starts off initially sceptical – much like Lord Lancellotie Prince of Monaco III (aka Brian the border collie) when confronted by a row of traffic cones while being heckled from the stands – but is won over before track one is even half way through.

Children of Leir hail from Leicester – previously heard of launching forth rock behemoths Showaddywaddy – and across the entire effort deliver an excellent, if perhaps not exactly ground-breaking, seven tunes of building power. At first sedate but by the end of some of the longer tracks like the ten minute opener you know you’ve been for a ride.

You can definitely pick up touches of Death in Vegas, some drones a la Spacemen 3, and it’s entirely welcome. I suspect live, at four million decibels preferably, they are a formidable and physical proposition.

Despite being distracted at one point by a dreadlocks-sporting canine version of an albino Nile Rodgers crashing into a pole – what’s not to love – the atmosphere being conjured up is all-pervading, all-encompassing and just a touch frightening. Ideal for this kind of thing in other words.

Not sure about the name right enough. Does sound a bit gothy but top professional research suggests they’re not drenched in patchouli oil and wittering on about the Sisters of Mercy gig in Leeds when Andrew Eldrich ran out of pasty virgin’s blood to feast upon. Thankfully.

It’s growling and forceful despite initially taking a rather horizontal stance. Do not be misled – this’ll creep up and grab you with a metallic scrape of the guitar and threatening drums. The keyboards may be ethereal but the underlying sentiments are not. That driving bass moves me. It will move you.

Dark space, barely acceptable sound system turned up beyond its capabilities… this rocks. By the time the epic closer Siren comes along, if you haven’t already started sweating profusely and bought a spaniel off Ebay and a catalogue of illegal substances you’re not even trying.

I commend this record to you. It is rather good.

You can see ’em live at the ShuffleDown all-day festival at Larbert in May. I know that’s where I go for all my dronecore groovetastic needs.

Next up: Russ Abbot – a double CD career retrospective; visuals provided by Cannibal Holocaust.

Note: this piece was written before news filtered out that some Kennel Club owners are massive bastards and seem to treat their pets appallingly. No Rovers were harmed during the writing of this review. Just the English language.

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