Power pop revisited, re-recorded, remixed and remastered
Minnesotaâ€™s Persian Leaps have been making catchy, guitar-based power pop since their formation in 2012. Theyâ€™ve released an EP-per-year since their debut with 2013â€™s Praise Elephants, and now pause to reflect on the intersection between what they knew then and what theyâ€™ve learned since. In particular, their first full-length cherry picks seventeen of their previously released tracks and reworks them with remixing, re-recording and remastering that injects into the recordings the lessons theyâ€™ve learned from playing these songs live. Some of the changes find the band tweaking the mixes, while others are more radical. The single â€œEntropyâ€ was entirely rebuilt atop the original bass and drums, and â€œNot That Braveâ€ substitutes a live radio appearance for the original studio take. Artists often revisit their songs, but rarely their recordings, so itâ€™s interesting to hear the band consider how their deepened familiarity with the material impacts their view of a songâ€™s best presentation.
The bandâ€™s stated influences â€“ Teenage Fanclub, Guide by Voices and the Smiths â€“ are easy to hear, but traces of Eddie & The Hot Rods, the Feelies, Velvet Crush and Material Issue also echo through their music. Singer/guitarist Drew Fosberg can write the requisite power pop odes to budding, failing and failed relationships, but even here he sketches more in poetic images than on-the-nose laments. His protagonists are optimistic as they step past obstacles to make a move, but once inside theyâ€™re too late in catching on to their failings, and end up wallowing in the aftermath a few minutes too long. Beyond romantic trevails, Fosberg writes about social anxiety, the ostrich-like posture of climate change deniers, and in 2014â€™s â€œTruth = Consequences,â€ an equation that seems oddly out of synch with todayâ€™s political realities. Those whoâ€™ve already met the Persian Leaps through their EPs will enjoy the reconstructions offered here, but those new to the band will find this full-length a great introduction! [Â©2018 Hyperbolium]