By Kyle Smart
I always get excited over a new band. I get even more excited when it is the long awaited release of a new band’s full length first album. When I first heard about Leagues a year and a half ago, all they had was a three song EP and just a facebook page. It was incredibly hard to find much on them, but those three songs were phenomenal. Indie pop/rock at its finest. Leagues had a true sound, no gimmicks, no lead ons, just good music. I am excited to find that the rest of their long awaited album is just as spectacular as their EP.
You Belong Here is a mix of sounds that are perfect right now, I get reminded of Young the Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, and a little bit of Jimmy Eat World. I must have to do with the strength of guitar. Such a classic sound, mixing modern rock and pop together, every song is catchy and just as good as the last. Vocals only compliment the sounds as Thad Cockrell’s unique voice flows through each song with ease. Cockrell pulls off great dance worthy numbers like Spotlight with a quick jump in his voice, but then can pull into a ballad like Lost It All and you can hear pain and emotion in his voice that you were not expecting so much.
It’s great the Leagues have put their three song EP into You Belong Here as well. Magic, Mind Games, and Haunted have all returned to the speakers. All three songs were incredibly strong before, but Leagues has refined and tweaked them to fit the poppy essence of the album. Kind of leads to the old saying, “An artist is never finished.”
Leagues brings a cornucopia of songs to the table; they all fit together, but they never meld too close together that they are forgettable. The majority of the album is more upbeat, even Lost It All, which is slower, still picks up pace. Though at the end of the album, Leagues does not go out with a bang, but rather a slow, soft finish. Both Pass My Way and Friendly Fire are calmest, quietest songs on the album. Friendly Fire is a genuine letter of love and apology that everyone can relate too.
Now is the part where I have to build the opposing argument because You Belong Here is not perfect. I really can not put my finger on what it is, but Leagues leaves me wanting a little more. They put together a strong album, but there is just a little part of me that wants more. Some songs just don’t click for me, but that is just me.
I knew I would love whatever Leagues put out. Anyone that can sell me a three song EP has something special about them. But what Leagues brought to the table seems to be the forerunner as my favorite album of 2013 so far. Granted the year is still young, Leagues cast a fairly large shadow for any other band out there. A year and a half of waiting paid off this week. I cannot give Leagues a 10; it could use a little something more, but You Belong Here gets a well earned 8.5 out of 10.
If you would like further information on Leagues, visit their website here.