At what point will the masses turn on ukulele wielding troubadours like they did on disco music that day at the ballpark on Disco Demolition Night in Chicago? Can we trick them all into thinking they’re playing the halftime show of the Super Bowl and then drunkenly throw our bottles of rye at them? Thankfully The Leisure Society isn’t all ukulele but there is enough entry level piano and banjo music playing to get you steamed; especially in the Alone Aboard the Ark opener, Another Psalm Sunday, which has a harmonica thrown in mid song just for your pleasure. Sorry, for some reason I can’t get that Hannibal Lecter movie Red Dragon out of my head right now.
The next song isn’t much better as it comes complete with violins and woodwinds that have bad 70’s lounge music as their background. I kept waiting for Jack Tripper’s sleazy buddy Larry to show up at my door flaunting tons of chest hair. By the third song, you realize that all this band is, is a bunch of hipsters who can play a random assortment of instruments . They got together one night and decided that their glorified grad student plays weren’t working anymore, so why not form a band to get girls. They aren’t talented enough to play any kind of solos and musically they are all over the place. They can’t decide what they are or what they want to be, which is ok if you perfect a certain style on one album and then decide to mix it up on another. But to be average at every style you play doesn’t quite work when you are trying to be schizophrenic.
Tearing the Arches Down is their most rocking song and I use that term loosely. They bring in some distorted guitar and it’s the closest thing you’ll find to a traditional rock song on this album. All I Have Seen is the clear highlight with its late 60’s psychedelic harmonizing which instantly draws you in and thankfully it has lyrics you actually care about. The song ends with Hemming singing “No More, No More, All I have seen, take it from me” and fades out with carnival like music, continuing their weird trend of schizophrenia.
Maybe you’re really into folk/rock music and by the end you’ll be drowning in young flapper Roaring 20’s hipster bliss with Forever We Shall Wait and the never ending We Go Together. But for the rest of us, the next time I see some dude with greased up hair, an unnecessary 5 o’clock shadow, and rolled up sleeves; I’m going to assume that he saw the Robert Downey Jr version of Sherlock Holmes one too many times and throw my fedora at him! Oh the irony!