Release Date: 25th August 2018
Label: Prosthetic Records
To paraphrase Will Ferrell’s Mugatu, “that Leeched are so hot right now”.
Having announced their formation with the release of debut EP Nothing Will Grow From The Rotten Ground last year, Leeched have wasted no time in producing their follow up a mere year later. Talk about impressive work ethic!
Leeched’s EP was the perfect example of how to announce yourself as a band. Six tracks clocking in at just under ten minutes, the release was a short, hard and fast burst of rapid fire powerviolence, suggesting that the UK were about to gain their own version of Nails. The no frills darkness created by the release, coupled with solid promotion, earned the band incredible recognition; receiving a record label signing, management and extensive touring all within the band’s first year of activity. Touring support slots with Employed To Serve and Full Of Hell highlight the band’s incredible rise to becoming one of the biggest names in underground hardcore.
You Took The Sun When You Left is the full length debut from the Manchester three piece, and can very much be seen as a companion piece to their prior release, even down to the similar artwork. With production helmed once again by Joe Clayton of No Studio in Manchester, it is clear the producer has a strong relationship with the band in helping them achieve their vision.
Much like Nothing Will Grow…, the album has a gloomy, nihilistic tone, helped along by the imagery conjured from the song titles and lyrics. With song titles such as ‘Raised by Lead’, ‘The Stone and the Steel’ and ‘By the Factories’, strong but negative industrial images are brought to mind, and suggests the band have environmental concerns behind their music. The industrial atmosphere is enhanced by the more apparent Harm’s Way influence on this release, incorporating more grinding noise into the tracks and less focus on the sheer speed of most powerviolence acts.
This, however, is where I find fault with the album. While the band’s debut EP shifted in tempo and groove constantly throughout its ten minute running time, You Took The Sun When You Left resides mostly at the slower end of the spectrum. The contrast in feel across the EP (and during each track even) was part of its appeal, and helps in avoiding a monotonous sound. When the band released promotional singles before the album was released, the tracks were enjoyable in isolation, but as part of a record they become somewhat lost. Yes it can be said that Harm’s Way no longer embrace the fast tempos they were once known for, and Leeched have commented on their inspiration from the Chicago band. So it would make sense they are trying to recreate the sound of their idols, but their material was much more appealing when it bounced from blisteringly fast powerviolence to crushing doom riffs.
Based on how the band’s quick output of material, one doubts we will be waiting long for a new release, and hopefully the balance between speed and heaviness will be refined.
Recommended Track: A Mouth Full Of Dirt