April 23, 2024

Thick Syrup – “Living In Leeds” : Heavy psych trips

GRINGO RECORDS        23RD Feb 2018

Heavy psych from this new Leeds band, channeling tropes from hard rock of the seventies and elements of Les Butcherette’s vocal style. Songs tend to the heavy rock blues, with crunching riffs. The sort of thing that goes down well at The Brudenell, like other heavy local bands (think Pulled Apart By Horses, Castrovalva, Weirds, etc). This is an on and off project dating back to the core trio in 2013 but moving slowly forward through jamming sounds to the current state with the addition of Ambulance’s keyboard player and Gemma Fleet on vocals, whereupon things have taken off and the band are signed up to Gringo Records, home of Leeds’ local heroes That Fuckin Tank and indie standouts, Hookworms.

It’s not anything very new, more a fusion of stuff nailed initially to a hard riffing sound. It’s nice when they make a bit of space, like on the funky Magic Carpet, which brings in a few psychedelic tastes that Grace Slick would recognise. Stone Grove continues the Jefferson Airplane vibe. Lama gets quite hard-funk and very seventies. As the album progresses, the album slows to a mix of riffage and sixties psych / underground before culminating in Lady Anne Arise, which, as it sounds is half a folk theme and half a Jefferson Airplane ballad. The whole is a proper throwback, being something you might uncover as a semi-lost San Francisco nuggets band; something a bit strange, a touch mind-altering and psychedelic in a heartfelt way. All they need now is Jorma Kaukonen and to turn Woodhouse Moor into the Golden Gate Park’s Panhandle.

Leeds is writ big on the album, not just in the sound but also on the sleeve with one of the city’s most egregious pieces of post-modern architecture featured in sepia, familiar to hundreds of thousands of students and many of the potential audience for this. The other half of the audience is the over-sixties, longing for a bit more of that San Francisco sound.

Playing a few dates soon, you ought to catch them at Leeds’ excellent Wharf Chambers.

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