Leones’ latest recording is a slight departure from their regular output. Holy, the band’s 2016 EP, was saturated in distortion and heavier-hitting riffs. But Lovetrip keeps it cleaner until the bridges or the occasional heavy outro. The title track features reverb-laden deep vocals and clean guitars. Only at the end of the song is there any distortion, but it’s in the form of a sludgy, dissonant riff that still remains catchy.
“Underwater” starts off faster, though the vocals are still as subdued. Toward the end, there is some distortion featured in the background, but the song, as a whole, is fairly mild. This makes the transition to the next song and the other songs on the EP work well.
“Everyday” starts out with a heavy and almost bro-rock riff that is anchored into the alternative realm thanks to the shoegazey vocals and chunky bass. These riffs and occasional clean(er) guitar strumming make it the best song on the EP that sits at five songs long.
“Bad Man” starts somewhat like the opening song, with chorusy guitar and lots of reverb on the vocals. Its lightness is juxtaposed with the heaviness on “Everyday” and “Ojos,” the last song on the EP. Halfway through “Ojos,” the thickness of the guitar and the yearning of the vocals, paired with one of the few lead/melody guitar parts present, leaves the album fading out on one of the best parts.
The songs are a bit slower than on Holy and every song is under four minutes. While the band is churning out EPs annually, the change-up in style is encouraged and expected. Playing live gives the band many options; play everything in the newer style for a consistent vibe or throw in some older songs to keep the audience on their feet (though they likely are already).
With the help of the songs on Lovetrip, the trio is able to fill performance spaces with spacey ambiance and heavy, chunky headbanging all in the same performance.
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Marcus King Band
July 21 • Sweetwater Performace Pavilion