[Album Review] Beliefs- Leaper
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12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007]

Release Date: November 13th, 2015
Label: Hand Drawn Dracula 

There’s this one scene from The Other Guys where Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock’s characters are atop a building, looking down at the hectic street below. Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” starts to play in the background and the audience–despite the fact that the film is meant to be a comedy–anticipates the idea that maybe they’ll survive the leap. Action film stars, their supposed inspirations, do ridiculous things and get away with it, so why can’t this duo do it and survive?

And why is it that following influences might not always result in something good?

Beliefs are a band clearly inspired by the shoegaze explosion of the ’90s. With the recent comebacks of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Lush, it would be a great time to hash out a sophomore record. The group wear dreaminess like it’s a ubiquitous state, one where the world is constantly fuzzy to the eyes and sounds are stretched without being torn apart. But the two–Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe–feel like they want to contain the loudness of the genre that helped birthed Beliefs, while staying a necessary distance away from what it is to be shoegaze; the band aren’t as loud as something like The Goslings, but they attain some of the melodic nature of a group like My Dead Girlfriend. That said, the tunes from Leaper lean on the simple side, going through listeners like a wisp of air, not really having an ear-catching ability.

When Leaper starts with “Tidal Wave,” a spurt of noise kickstarts what should be a gratifying experience. Unfortunately, guitars that never go out of their comfort zone are what ineloquently grace this song and the record. While this is the case, the elegant timbre within both vocalists, as well as some good lyrical melodies, such as in the case on “1992” and the topsy-turvy delivery on “Colour of Your Name,” stand out as being surprisingly endearing. However, tunes like “Drown” and “Ghosts” feel like lacking tracks from a Silversun Pickups record.

Though that can be the case, “Leaper” manages to channel Sonic Youth and Metric’s “Poster of a Girl” in such a way that any scenery becomes transformed into a neon-coloured downtown street. Experimenting with a room-levelled communication is a noteworthy element that other tracks should’ve followed. “Leave with You” could translate to a better indie rock song if the loudness were subtracted. Drums on this and “Swooner,” the closer demonstrate that the guitars on an upcoming record should leave some more room for the bass and percussion to grace the stage. The calmness of the final track also indicates something desired as it’s a fresh take on sound. Leaper could have been a good record, had it experimented with noise, whether calm or more out of control. Without crossing boundaries, nothing truly feels astounding, and Beliefs know that they can be better. They aren’t going to fall flat like Samuel L. and The Rock.

Don’t stop believing… hold on to that–

You know what I mean.