Review: We're the Leaders, Worlds (Self-Released, 2015)

Released back in July, though I just stumbled upon it last week, this excellent three-song demo from We're the Leaders features Mark Calimbas from GMK, Ghidrah, and Atlas Shrugged on guitar and vocals. It's quite different from any of his prior work that I've encountered, though of course it demonstrates a really interesting fusion of influences—a rugged, rocked-out post-hardcore-ishness with some of the jangly catchiness of emo/indie rock, and a few spacier effects or outlying influences swimming around, too.

Every song is a touch different. "Worlds" has a heavier edge to it, and to my ears—believe it or not—sounds like later Voivod meets Dynamic Truths (a band I'm guessing most have never heard of, but look 'em up). Loose similarities to the latter continue throughout, as "In Corners" is somewhat catchier and more straightforward—at times reminiscent of Cloud Nothings' stronger side. It's my favorite of the bunch, likely because there's a certain immediacy to it. Closer "Black Stains" is softer and more stripped down—arguably "ballad"-like, with sort of a Walter Schreifels vibe, and there's never anything wrong with that!

I really dig the lyrics, too. Personal reflection with a little more message and artistry involved:

We travel light instead.
No heavy weights attached to keep us from our destiny.
We're letting go of the traps you embrace to save face.
Pathetic in your place.
The chains you wear are jewelry.
When you play with flames, ignition occurs.
Burn wings.
Trap door philosophy.

The production is a little rough around the edges, but it was probably recorded in a home studio environment, and sounds perfectly fine. Quality songwriting and the emotion of the compositions are communicated, and that's what matters most.

A second We're the Leaders release is already in the works, planned for a cassette pressing, and that can't come soon enough. I've listened to this thing three or four times in a row here, and it just keeps getting better. Really cool.

Get It