Album review: “Love On The Run” by post-punk Londoners Leika

Mixing post punk with synth rock is quite a skill and pretty hard to do, but it’s something Leika do with ease on second album Love On The Run. The band use fun indie rock infused guitar with deep rich bass lines and a saxophone to create a really vivid and unique sound, and channel a range of experimental  post punk sounds especially on tracks such as Boutique. Leika are a really exciting band from London, made up of Keith, Brian, Tom, Rom and Jon. The album (which was released in December 2016) is full of some fantastic tracks, with a range of unique sounds and techniques used throughout. Girls is one of my favourite tracks, with a meticulous guitar riff playing over the feel good rock’n’roll beat from the drums and groovy bass line. The track also features a heavy synth sound which builds up throughout the track, crashing down with the funky jazz sound of the saxophone halfway through. By merging that blaring rippling guitar sound with the saxophone and deep bass, a very fresh, unique sound is created. Synth sounds/ synth-sounding distortions are used throughout too, which I particularly like on Fish Tank and The Cornflake Song. The vocals are very accented too, which helps bring in those classic 70s punk sounds. They almost merge elements of 70s punk with 80s synth pop, which gives their music a really unique and memorable bite. Girls demonstrates this range of skills brilliantly, with the band cleverly intertwining all the individual elements which makes their music so good. I love the saxophone in rock music too, and it’s something so many bands seem to leave out despite the fantastic sound you get from it.

Love On The Run, artwork by Martin Grover

Other tracks on the album are a bit heavier, with dark guitar and more vivid raucous riffs with that brooding saxophone backing up the melody brilliantly. This is especially evident on tracks like Ulysses Returning which opens with these brilliantly sharp guitar chords and a deep low vocal which contrasts perfectly with those harsh bursts of guitar. The guitar is very vivid and raucous throughout the album, with that layer of synth over it giving their music a very 80s rock sound. I love the heaviness and intensity of the guitar on Fly, Drops, and Love on The Run, the latter featuring a brilliantly catchy riff from the off. The vocals on Love on The Run (both lead and backup) add to the brilliance of the track; it’s more akin to punk music with a very British sounding accented vocal. The saxophone is especially good on tracks like Glass, Love On The Run (particularly in the chorus) and Remote Control, with a wonderful feel good aura to the tracks. My favourite track on the album would have to be Remote Control, with a fantastic guitar sound tying in perfectly with that rich saxophone sound. I love the chorus to this track too, with the music stopping then resuming suddenly, each individual instrument playing perfectly in sync. The ordered sound and perfect synchronisation each element of the band’s sound has gives the album a very polished well practised (and extremely well-written) sound. The whole album has a very fun head-banging sound to it too; I was actually able to catch Leika live a few months ago, and this aura on the album is channelled brilliantly on stage. The band’s next gig will be on Friday 10th at Water Rats in London.

For more on Leika you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to their music via Spotify, SoundCloud, or iTunes

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