This past year, Leeds has usurped London, Manchester and Birmingham as THE hotbed of new musical talent in the UK. Following The Kaiser Chiefs' swift elevation to Smash Hits Poll Winners Party status and Duels and !Forward Russia!'s imminent pursuit of Ricky Wilson and co.'s footsteps comes a swarm of other young scamps, and guess what? There's hardly a duffer among them!
Leeds: 2005 is the first release on the newly founded Engine Room Records label and brings together 18 of the city's currently unsigned artists as the second wave of Leeds looks set to dominate the music industry for another 12 months.
Some of the bands on here (iLiKETRAiNS, This Et Al, Samsa) you will no doubt be familiar with, while for some of the others, such as The Somatics and their frantic, serious but soothing guitar pop or O Fracas' jerky semi-latino variant on !FR!'s angular renaissance rock, it will surely only be a matter of time before they are being spoken about in the same breath as their now famous predecessors.
Elsewhere, Itch make the kind of epic, punctuated rock that manages to give emo a good name, both The Breech and The Young Professionals carry on with the Kaisers' baton for aloof, quirky pop, and The Sunshine Underground make punk-funk-rock like a latter day Rip, Rig & Panic fused with the polemics of Radio 4.
Rather poignantly, this album is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Sherry, formerly the singer with The Bad Beat Revue who tragically died whilst performing with his band earlier this year, and their 'Still Cheating' is included as a reminder that their Supergrass-go-sci-fi capers will be sadly missed.
Buy this record today so that when at least half of these bands get famous, you can tell them you were there first. Brian Hurst would approve, you know he would...
9Dom Gourlay's Score