Where they from?
Leeds, England. I Googled “What is Leeds most famous for?” and the only result was that they had a city square, which was full of statues. Wow, a city with a park that has some statues, how unique. Can’t think of any other city that has that except for LITERALLY EVERY ONE ON PLANET EARTH!
Why the hype?
What Leeds is actually famous for is a strong powerviolence/grind scene that has developed in the past decade that has even lead to the development of a “Leeds sound.” It makes sense when you consider the fact that most of the heavy hitters from the area like Afternoon Gentleman and Gets Worse tend to liberally share members. One of my favorite memories from going to Chimpy Fest in London in 2019 was when some stranger walked into the men’s room and declared “Whoa! Everyone in Lugubrious Children is in here!” I’ve never peed with such excitement.
The Leeds sound is basically very silly powerviolence but played with the skill and precision of grind. Mongo vocals abound, but these drummers know how to play and the music really never delves too heavily into the lumbering morass of USPV bands. Sulk, in particular, probably are the best example of this sound done right: It’s berserk but without the self-seriousness of their continental European counterparts. I mean, the album is called Tennis Elbow, for Christ’s sake.
Tennis Elbow. There is a lot to love here, including the ’90s alternative chords that collapse into an ignorant slam on standout track “CxCxFxOxBxSx,” but I really want to take a moment here to focus on the vocals, which I feel propel an already excellent album into truly great territory. Rich seamlessly transitions between high pitched hyper cartoonish rattles into absurd gory bottoms and even throws a few of those Pee Wee Herman “Doh!”s in there that we love so much. It’s a perfect whimsical blotch of madness to cap off an already bonkers album. I would say AOTY contender but it came out last year. Fuck.