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Best Post-Desperate Measures Leeway Songs

Leeway is an incredibly unique and influential NYHC band, there's no doubt about that. Almost any all-time "best of" NYHC list would include thrash metal-infused hardcore classics Born to Expire or Desperate Measures (if not both). And with good reason: Born to Expire boasts slammin', energetic anthems like "Mark of the Squealer," "On the Outside," "Enforcer," and many more; while the chunky grooves of Desperate Measures, my personal favorite, make almost every track an instant classic ("Make Me an Offer," "Kingpin," "Who's to Blame," and so on).

But, as I've said before, all of their albums deserve to be championed. While 1994's Adult Crash marked an enormous stylistic shift for the band—one that many fans frown upon to this day—there's still some killer material to be found on those later records. Vastly different, yes, but still great.

So, if you've been deterred from taking the post-Desperate Measures plunge, here are five songs that should encourage you to reconsider checking out all that Leeway has to offer...

"3 Wishes," from Adult Crash (Futurist, 1994)

"3 Wishes" rocks kind of a laidback flow. The insanely catchy chorus alone—with those ringing melodies and an emotional vocal performance from Eddie Sutton—makes this one of my all-time favorite Leeway tracks. And that distant hum of feedback that hangs around after the solo? Such a cool, subtle touch...

"You," from Adult Crash (Futurist, 1994)

Another all-time favorite of mine from the Leeway discography, "You" rides a badass, pumpin' groove with sleek, arpeggiated melodies and another stellar chorus. Jimmy Xanthos nonstop hammers those basslines, too—with one of the most incredible bass tones ever, no less!

"Product," from Open Mouth Kiss (Fierce, 1995)

"Product" takes all of the above—slick, dissonant melodies; raging, prominent bass runs; yet another golden, sing-along chorus; etc.—and balls it up into a fast-paced, high-energy burst. Flawless.

"Hornet's Nest," from Open Mouth Kiss (Fierce, 1995)

Right off the bat: how can you argue with that groove!? Pokey really shines on this one by laying the groundwork for that bounce, and dishin' out loads of flashy cymbal work, too. When that perfectly dirty bass pretty much takes over after the solo, "Hornet's Nest" becomes a master class on rhythm section tact.

"Foot the Bill," from Open Mouth Kiss (Fierce, 1995)

A little more aggressive than the other tracks herein, I suppose, "Foot the Bill" displays a wide range of textbook post-hardcore guitar work from A.J. Novello. Tons of post-hardcore bands were gettin' love in the '90s (and beyond), so why do so many people still bash Leeway for their take on it!?

As a "bonus track," I can't help but shout out "The Old Man of Sorrows," too. Another cut from Open Mouth Kiss, this simple, repetitive, three-minute instrumental is a truly beautiful piece that capture a shocking amount of feeling. Well worth checking out, and so underrated, in fact, that it's not even on YouTube!?

Born to Expire and Desperate Measures fuckin' smoke, without question. I'm not tryin' to argue that Adult Crash and Open Mouth Kiss are on that same level of legendary brilliance. But, please, don't believe all the hate: they're both fantastic records that still hold up today!

SEE ALSO: 2014 interview with Michael Gibbons (Leeway).

Comments

  1. Born to Expire and Desperate Measures are legitimate classics I never tire of hearing. I like them so much that the sullen child in me had never taken to Adult Crash. Open Mouth Kiss on the other hand has too many good songs to just dismiss as Leeway’s postscript. As far as post-hardcore goes, for me it’s up there with Into Another’s Seemless and Handsome.

    1.13.2015 | By Kevshall

  2. Awesome article. Leeway has always ruled. Saw them a few times at Irving and Ritz back in the late 80s. And definitely agree the latter two albums are underrated. I would say “Compromise” from OMK should be on this list. Totally grinding riff and groove, along with Eddie’s plead of “Meet me halfway!” Sick. Period.

    1.13.2015 | By Snead Hearn

  3. It’s a tough call, that is a great song. In addition to “Compromise” there’s also “Make a Move,” “10 Years,” “Grip,” “State,” etc. But, yeah, “Compromise” in my opinion would probably come the closest to making the cut here.

    1.13.2015 | By Andrew Aversionline

  4. I’m always pushing people to give ‘Adult Crash’ another chance ‘cause of “3 Wishes” and “You” alone. I really think those are two of the band’s greatest songs. It seems to be the one Leeway album that’s still easy to find for dirt cheap, too, ha, ha…

    1.13.2015 | By Andrew Aversionline

  5. My copy of “Adult Crash” (purchased on ebay for next to nothing) is currently sitting between Ignite’s “Call on my Brothers” and Eye for an Eye’s “100% Unnatural. I’ll give it a spin when I take my daughter to nursery in the morning and report back. Now that I’m a parent, maybe the older and wiser me will take to it!

    1.13.2015 | By Kevshall

  6. I’ll be curious to hear your current opinion of it. For me, “The Roulaison” is its only throwaway (has its moments, it’s just too damn long and should’ve been the final track, if anything). Still, solid album, and a handful of top-notch tunes.

    1.13.2015 | By Andrew Aversionline

  7. OK, it’s a good CD and heavier than I remember. The Mike Gibbons interview throws everything into perspective as you have a crossover band trying something new, which they definitely get right by the time OMK comes along. Strange time for NYHC. Adult Crash came out in ‘94 and - if memory serves - this is the time I can remember bands like Dog Eat Dog, Quicksand, Life of Agony, and Type O getting attention over here in the UK.

    1.14.2015 | By Kevshall

  8. Surprised to not see “Grip” on this list.  Three Wishes is definitely the best post DM song, in my opinion.  Manufabricate is another one with a well-written chorus.  But ultimately I rarely listen to more than a select few tracks from these records.

    1.14.2015 | By Burt Batman

  9. I’m just glad people are suggesting tracks they would’ve included above. I didn’t see that coming.

    1.14.2015 | By Andrew Aversionline

  10. PRODUCT, HORNETS NEST and FOOT THE BILL are winners for sure!

    1.19.2015 | By Mike from Brooklyn