Leopold – The Wreck of Hope – 27th November 2021

CD on Total Annihilation Records
I’m always checking out new music, mostly through Bandcamp pages. This album was mentioned on the You Don’t Know Mojack podcast, which is going through the SST catalogue. At the beginning of each episode, the hosts (Brant and Ryan) talk about other items of interest that they’ve been listening to. Brant leans more on the metal side of things whilst Ryan is more in the noise rock direction so my ears prick up when he mentions something he likes and so it was with Leopold. I had a quick listen on their Bandcamp page and liked it enough to contact them about buying the CD.

Usually, I’m fine with just a digital copy but I think I was feeling comfortable with my bank account balance at the time that I shot off an email to find out how much it would cost to get a copy sent to Thailand. It was ridiculously expensive, the shipping costing one and a half times more than the actual CD. But having made the enquiry I felt obligated to buy it and in the end, glad that I did.

Quebradita Num. 4
This pummelling intro has me hooked already. Jesus Lizard-like, before a change of pace into a chugging bassline and some screeching guitars that have a wonderfully sharp tone. And here’s the riff, which has a nice Drive Like Jehu melody and timbre. The vocals are reminding me of my good friends from When Chimps Attack. I think this could have been what attracted me to buy this CD. I still wish the Chimps had made 10 more albums, so this is a nice addition to my album collection. Some nice high neck guitar action breaks into the melodies and then there’s this funky Iron Maiden break. Er…perhaps funky isn’t the right word. It’s great!

Yes My Love
Oh, some skronking sax! Excellent. Great off-kilter rhythms that swell to a wicked bouncing chorus, if it could be called a chorus. Air punching, floor punching good stuff. Followed by a spacious guitar to let the bass and drums flow. Nice dynamics. Now chilling…is it going to stop? It feels like a wind-down. And that’s it.

Junior Perkins
Jesus – it’s the Ace of Spades warped into a noise rock blur with buried vocals trying to punch their way out of a sleeping bag. The guitar tone is sharp and piercing, just the way I like it. Doubled vocals make me want to sing along but all I can make out is ‘get me out of here.’ I think I would like these lyrics. And it’s over as quick as you like.

(Another Killer In) Texas
A nice switch of pace after the previous frenzy but the whole band soon gets busy again, pulling everything together into a ferocious pounding force. Sinister and foreboding the song lurches forward, stalking the listener down the darkened streets. Suddenly cornered and roaring, the killer pounces, your guts are twisting, head exploding. Here it comes again. You’re dead.

A galloping pace, this one jumps out of the gate and feels like it won’t let up. A break comes a couple of minutes in which allows some breathing space before the anticipated relaunch. A great drum rolling finale puts the final full stop in the sentence. The bag is broken.

The Wreck of Hope
Is this the opus rock-epic title track? This reverbing intro could go anywhere. Thankfully it dives into a gripping riff-heavy verse and staccato chorus and post bridge these soaring guitars are taking my mind off to faraway places. I’m back now.

Kentucky Nurse
A no-wave guitar freak-out leads this off before we get back to the brutality with an epic guitar sliding riff, flying off a cliff into some dark air. This is bringing me back to the best Chimps work.

Holy ripping intros of death, Batman! Some exceptional noise rocking noise rock, all too brief but nailing each idea to the wall and screaming ‘THIS IS IT’

When Cousins Marry
A creeping pace with some Yow like whispers, from Jack Brewer no less, before a lovely sax (?) riff gets added to the mix. No chords in sight so far….oh wait – here they are and we’re off, rolling down the freeway, overtaking the Tar Babies on the inside lane, skronking off the turnpike, heading nowhere in particular and without a care. Damn, that drummer is tight, holding the falling bumpers together. Train coming!

Brick Full of Tables
The rhythm section is freaking exceptional I realise by now, having paid too much attention to the guitar tone at first. Ah, this one has a buried chorus I would like to scream into the faces of all the idiots who’ve wronged me. I’ve no idea what they are saying but I’m absorbing the passion. More freak out guitar before coming together for the chorus again. Time is flying along and I want the songs to last forever. But now we’ve disintegrated together and I’m spent.

There’s lots of great noise rock out there and I can’t quite put my finger on what sets this apart from many of its contemporaries. But, apart it stands.

Favourite songs on this listen: Junior Perkins and Brick Full of Tables.

2 thoughts on “Leopold – The Wreck of Hope – 27th November 2021

  1. This is Dave “migraine” (bass, vocals) on the Leopold record. Send me your email or information and I’ll send you what I can get. Thank you for the great review it was humbling to read such praise. Brought back old memories and a single tear. Thank you again you made an old man feel like what I did had some meaning and purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eddie sent me the CD and I downloaded the 7″ tracks. If you have any other unreleased recordings or played in other bands you think I might be interested in then hit me up! email: thetenzenmenATgmailDOTcom


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