BY JOHN B. MOORE
Just as a heads up to those longsuffering Superdrag fans, expecting The Lees of Memory debut to essentially be the sixth Superdrag record you’ve been waiting for: it’s not.
Although two-thirds of the band is comprised of Superdrag vets, the sound here is a pretty big step away from the infectious Power Pop the Knoxville band was known for and into one of the best Shoegaze sounds to come along since the 1990s.
John Davis and Brandon Fisher, along with Nick Slack, opt for a much more wide-ranging atmospheric sound, trading jangly riffs for swirling guitars. The deep melodies and harmonies – a trademark from their earlier band – are still here, they’re just a little harder to find, not placed right up front. Davis’ vocals have also never sounded stronger or prettier, for that matter, then when he’s singing a melancholy song like “Little Fallen Star” or the driving “Not a Second More,” the closest thing The Lees of Memory have to an arena rocker.
Davis and Fisher gave slight hints to this new sound way back in 1996, when they put out the brilliant, but underrated headphones album Head Trip in Every Key. And while another Superdrag album would be sublime, I’d be just as happy if Sisyphus Says is the first in a long line of releases for the new band.
DOWNLOAD: “Little Fallen Star,” “Open Your Arms” and “Not a Second More”