Leone Western are a couple of lads from the Western suburbs of Melbourne who got their hands on a collection of drum machines and synthesisers, wrote a few tunes and independently released their debut EP Hearts’ Still Beating in late 2010. Their music is very raw, as self-produced work often is, and far be it from me to rain all over their parade, but the six songs featured on Hearts’ Still Beating are generic synth pop at best.
My main gripe is with the thready vocal delivery that really detracts from the music itself, which is a problem that could easily be fixed with a few effects to hide the abrasive nature of the vocalist’s sound. Whilst their arrangements are nothing spectacular, they have written a few catchy tracks. “Les Vagrant” is definitely one of the better songs on this release, with the simple drum track, eighties computer game style synth and lyrics that are straight to the point. The grungy guitars and dark undertone on “White Pony” have a hypnotic quality that is disturbed by feedback and distortion that is interspersed throughout the song, giving it a textured feel that is severely lacking throughout the EP.
For a young band in an unforgiving city, Leone Western have done well to come as far as they have. I’m definitely intrigued to see what they come up with in their future endeavours, but as for right now I find their music to weigh heavily on the “average” scale.
Review Score: 5/10