The Leafs are a Melbourne based duo who have elected to remove all of the crap ‘getting to’ bits out of music, all that unnecessary stuff like bridges, hell even verses sometimes and just cut to the chase. So if their charming shambolic infectious tunes only go for less than a minute or so then so be it. That’s why these 8 tracks here clock in at a mammoth 13 minutes. People may argue that this is an EP, and although the band are some of those people, they’re all wrong. This is a full-length album. It’s the perfect length for the Leafs. It’s about as much as our attention deficit mp3 generation can take these days.
We’re in a Guided By Voices, Archers of Loaf, or rough-hewn Pixies territory here, a kind of melodic at times shambolic earnest indieness, except you get the feeling they’re not entirely earnest themselves. There’s no doubting their love of pop guitariness that much is unequivocal, yet take the 2.10 minute Fields and Fences where they spend the entire time trying to work out which one they prefer, fields or fences, and in the end they’re still undecided. This raises some questions. Then there’s Figs, which is about what you’d feed an army of tiny monkeys. There’s humour here, but it’s not ironic or nasty, it’s warm and inclusive. This is how they come across live too, they open up their arms and bring us all into their world. It’s at times stupid, other times earnest, but even then it’s usually earnest about stupid stuff.
You may know both Mike and Gus from their other band the sprawling improvised instrumental post rock three piece Battlesnake where they would commonly play one song for upwards of 30 minutes. This is clearly the exact opposite. With only guitar and floor tom/snare both the pop and the fun is infectious to the point that it’s bouncing around in your head for the rest of the day. And that’s actually a good thing. Embrace the pop brevity.
(P.S It took me longer to write this review than it will take you to listen to this album)