The Leisure Society – The Sleeper/A Product Of The Ego Drain

The Leisure Society’s debut album came out in March this year to pretty universal acclaim. The band have now moved from the Willkommen label to a “proper” label, Full Time Hobby, and put the album out again.

This new edition of the album includes a bonus EP of demos and unreleased tracks, mainly recorded at the same time as the album.

The Leisure Society have a sound that is hard to find comparisons with other artists. The easiest reference point is The Beach Boys, but a Beach Boys that got their sound from rural England rather than the beaches of California.

Ivor Novello nominated track ‘The Last of the Melting Snow’ is an album standout, with its blissful harmonies and beautifully arranged flutes and strings, but there are many other equally good songs on the album. ‘A Short Weekend Begins With Longing’ and ‘Save It For Someone Who Cares’ stand out, and both manage to be sweet and heartfelt whilst staying the right side of tweeness.

Backed by members of Brighton’s Willkommen collective band leaders Nick Hemming and Christian Hardy have produced a musically very accomplished album. This is made all the more impressive by their decision to produce everything themselves and complete all the recording away from the studio environment.

The additional EP, A Product Of The Ego Drain, is a nice extra for people picking up the album at this issue. The demos and unreleased tracks are of a high standard and compliment the main album perfectly. The “new” tracks, a cover of Gary Newman’s ‘Cars’ and a new single version of ‘Save It For Someone Who Cares’ are what make the bonus CD that little bit special. Both are excellent examples of what the band do best, melody, vocal harmony and accomplished instrumentation.

The EP may not be enough to make someone buy a second copy of the album but it is icing on the cake for anyone who doesn’t own this excellent album and is picking it up for the first time.

9/10

by Dorian Rogers, Oct 2009

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