Leya - Watch You Don't Take Off

Belfast four-piece Lea had a busy 2005 opening for Kubb, Embrace and Franz Ferdinand. Their two EPs both charted in the Top 40 in Ireland. Debut album "Watch You Don't Take Off" was recorded in the South Of France and Northern Ireland, signed to Dublin based label Rubyworks in 2004 Leya now need to spread their wings and take on the rest of Europe.

"Lets Pretend" is slightly ambient at first with faintest drum machine. Ciaran Gribben has a vocal, which reminds me quite a bit of Thom Yorke, bursting at the seams with torment regret, desperation and sadness. This track then speeds up introducing synths, guitar, drums, bass and orchestral touches. Although quite low key, this still has the power to be hypnotic with the vocal sounding more urgent as the track progresses.

"On All My Sundays" has Ciaran sounding little hoarse. This song has one hell of a chorus with the vocals outdoing Bono in the high drama stakes. It's epic, string-laden production could almost belong to Starsailor especially the overwrought lyrics like "all your lies you've been feeding me" which illustrate the melancholy on show. "Prove" is more quietly sung, but creeps me out as there's something quite sinister going on, the keyboards are more melodic than previous and the use of strings continues, hell there's even a rap interlude in the middle of the song with mystery in the wordplay like "there's a ticket with no name". What on earth could Leya mean? It's a bit too overwrought and the over melodramatic mood is too much for your correspondent. At times there's element of Muse and vocally it has the range of Damien Rice. More leanings towards atmospheric soundscapes appear on "All On The Black" which vocally sees Ciaran at his best.

"Watch You Don't Take Off" by Leya is an intense album, serious and packing one hell of an emotional punch

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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