LAST LEAF DOWN – Fake Lights
Swiss shoegaze band Last Leaf Down originally began as a doom/dark metal outfit a decade ago, strongly using Katatonia as an influence to drive their sound. Finally mutating to this newer direction in 2007 thanks to the additions of vocalist/ guitarist Benjamin Schenk and drummer Patrick Hof, the quartet recorded a promo EP in 2011 and while recording new demo track last year, finally signed a record deal and set out working on their debut album "Fake Lights".
To those who need a distinct definition of shoegaze, it’s a type of music that places significant importance on guitar effects and indistinguishable vocal melodies to blend together as an alternative wall of sound – very introspective and detached, and a style of music that when performed live the musicians prefer standing still. Last Leaf Down prefer a lot of the dreamy elements that made 80’s acts such as The Church or Lush bubble up for the youth, while also incorporating aspects of current bands like Antimatter, Alcest, and of course the aforementioned Katatonia.
Songs such as the enveloping "In These Waters", somber yet serene "The Theme" and hypnotically dream sequence oriented "Fake Lights in the Sky" are three of the thirteen tracks that epitomize a style of music that can calm a brooding mind, expand thoughts, and allow shapes and colors to come to your senses that possibly stood dormant for a lifetime. Benjamin conveys melodies in a respectful, semi-melancholic manner, while the guitars from Sascha Jeger help Last Leaf Down cover all sonic ground from slow, clean echoing verse work to double team electric weight. Even when the band go relatively up tempo, it’s in a new wave manner for "An Endless Standoff" – the keyboards and guitars melding together in a semi-trance like mindset.
For a debut record, "Fake Lights" has Last Leaf Down going in the right direction- and it will be very interesting to see the twists that they take on future releases.