24 Jun 2013

Children of Leir "Children of Leir" Review

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Those approaching this self titled debut expecting another whispy folk retelling of the old Irish legend the Children of Lir, or at the very least something of a similarly inoffensive and acoustic bent are advised to locate their nearest exit with all haste as these Children of Leir (the Briton king perhaps?) are a very different prospect indeed.
A two-piece (Gregg Hunt and Stuart Gray) from Leicester who describe themselves as "motorik-driven, mystyical- horror infuenced, psychedelic folk pop", the Children of Leir instead inhabit the same sort of shadowy netherworld as a number of Austin's current dark psychedelic brood, although with a distinctly English vibe that suggests the tutelage of Joy Division rather than the Velvet Underground - more Factory, less garage.
Aside from the Martin Hannett-worthy vocal production there's reverb aplenty naturally, taut krautrock rhythms, heavily tremeloed guitars, creepy organs noodling away in a sinister fashion - all sorts of things that meet with our approval here at Active Listener Towers.
The repetitious motorik rhythms lend the whole affair a somewhat hypnotic quality and the songs themselves are growers, not showers, subtle earworms that take time to burrow through to the subconsious and graduate from "great sound" to "great song", but get there they certainly do. Think of the whole as an appeallingly wrapped package that you don't want to unwrap too quickly.
"Simulations" is the pick of the bunch, with it's fuzzy bass riff paving a solid groundfloor for it's snaky organ riff to slither over lazily, but the lengthier tracks are almost as good with opener "Oranj" in particular still seeming disappointingly short at over nine and a half minutes.

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