by Tom Alexander (@___alexd)
While romantic comedies can make the case for (or against) “love at first sight”, the case for “love at first sound” has been well-documented and proven. Scientists have pored over the data and come to the conclusion: the fastest you can possibly fall in love with a band is with Leggy’s first EP Cavity Castle, clocking in at a lightning-quick 1.5 seconds. If you don’t believe the data, give “Sweet Teeth” a spin and find out for yourself. Having spent the intervening years on the road, tirelessly working and proving they are Cincinnati’s finest, Leggy is releasing their first studio LP, Let Me Know Your Moon.
Leggy’s prior full-length record was a compilation of songs from their first three EPs. That self-titled album is great, but there’s a magic in Let Me Know Your Moon that elevates the band above their already incredibly high standards. Songs roar to life, only pausing for a quick snare hit, followed by another muddy wave of distortion. The band threads the needle here, pulling in retro sounds in a way that never makes Leggy sound like a nostalgia act, or even a backward-looking band. Veronique Allaer’s voice channels pop groups from the 1960s (e.g., the Shangri-Las), and her melodies deftly navigate the garage-rock rhythms of Kerstin Bladh and Chris Campbell. Chalk it up to their constantly touring, road-warrior status, but these dozen songs don’t have an ounce of fat on them. Perhaps internalizing the lessons of playing night-after-night, if there is a moment a song can spare, then it is a moment the song doesn’t need. Let Me Know Your Moon is lean, muscular, and thrilling.
Allaer’s lyrics have rarely been better than they are here. Her pen has always been sharp, often highlighting specific images: uncomfortable high-heeled shoes, flavored chewing gum, terrible cigarettes, hot kitchen floorboards. This time around, there’s more internal poetry in Let Me Know Your Moon, but that doesn’t come at the cost of the concrete, sensory experience Leggy is so good at banging out. Instead, you get fantastic lines like this from “Eden”: “I skinny dip in your stream / Of consciousness / I’d like to hop / On your train of thought.” It’s playful, and this kind of internal monologue runs throughout the album. Other outstanding highlight, “Prosper,” perhaps embodies Leggy at their best: a fantastic vocal melody, staccato guitar rhythms, a looping bass line, and drums that push it all out the door. Leggy have always been good, but few bands have ever been this good. It’s a hell of a debut both for the band and for their new label, Sheer Luck Records.