Brand new to the London rock scene, The Leo Star Electric Band might sound like some kind of bizarre electronic tribute band but will, in fact, surprise you with their delicious hooks, infectious fuzzy guitars and tasty songcraft.
The trio of guitarist TJ, bassist and vocalist Chris and percussionist Danz are on a mission to “create fucked up songs for the masses” with their music, which they intriguingly describe as “synaesthesia, fantasia, akrasia.”
They’ve fuelled a catchy fuzz-fuelled brand of guitar pop that they describe as “R.E.M. being heavy petted by The Melvins,” while drawing unique influence from a certain martial arts film star. As Chris explains: “Bruce Lee is both our inspiration and a central theme to all of our music. We want to make music that excites people as much as Bruce Lee.”
The band tell us they have an interesting background as pizza delivery guys who bonded over their love for parmesan and stuffed crust riffs. We don’t know whether to believe them or not – especially after reading their tarot card, LSD, description on Facebook – but it’s a story that fellow pizza lovers Mario and Luigi themselves would be proud of. But, as they tell us: “If it wasn’t for music I think we’d be dead now or in jail.”
The band have just released their debut single Soft & Gentle which, ironically, is neither soft nor gentle. It opens with a big blast of guitar noise and a funky high-pitched noise, then drops into drawn-out vocals “Haven’t I met you someplace before” over a fuzzy guitar backdrop.
A screechy guitar noise comes in, then drops into the vocals “Summer dress is pretty, Summer dress is what you choose when you’re not with me, You wear it ‘cos it’s easy, Wear it ‘cos it’s easier for you to never see me” over a low guitar riff. That gives way to an almighty effects-ridden guitar solo that feeds into repeats of “Your eyes remind me of someone I’ve lost” over more fuzzy guitar chords.
On the track, Chris tells us: “I was listening to a lot of Jesu at the time and liked the idea of a pop song that has a really oppressive feeling to it. I wanted to write a homage to my hero Bruce Lee and then when we fleshed the song out as a band the other guys kinda added their own stories; stuff about Amy Winehouse came up and we ran with it. It’s specifically an ode to Amy and Bruce Lee, two people we’ve loved and lost.”
It’s an exciting introduction to The Leo Star Electric Band, and Chris tells us there’s plenty more to come: “We have two more singles to come out over the next few months; one will be the heavier side of us the other the pop nonsense. We have a few gigs lined up in London and then we will be back in the studio to record another pop tune and doom raga.”
You can catch The Leo Star Electric Band at two London gigs next month, playing The Spice of Life in Soho on 10 August, then The Finsbury Pub on 11 August. More info on all their gigs is here.