Cannonballs and Silver Tongues

EJ 63 CD
released July 2004

The second offering from this crack band of Home and Meringue members, sounding alternately like a classic rock record like The Wall through a rootsier Prozac filter. Cannonballs and Silver Tongues is the result of many, many hours in their Devils Isle Wet Lab home studio, distinguished with heavily layered vocal passages fleshed out with brass, wind, and strings, but balanced by spontaneous sparks and more cartoonish passages -- imagine Rumours being recut by The Fugs.

MP3: "The Joy of Literacy"


EJ 45 CD
released Feb 2002

Leels is a new musical collaboration featuring members of Home (Eric M) and Meringue (Trey C, Chris S). An instant classic of FM-wannabe pop and prog, their eponymous debut is a super sweet wedge of lemon and sugar in perfect balance. The harmonies are far-reaching but unforced, and the song craft is anchored in album rock greatness but also full of surprise turns.

Home, who are still active, made some of the most compelling rock albums of the 90s, gaining accolades from all kinds of press geeks for their last album Home IV. Meringue started as a three-guitar oddity who made amazingly dense records and in 1996 happened to excrete of the finest bent rock albums of all time, the double vinyl-only Music from the Mint Green Next, which Luna Kafe called "One of the most engaging and challenging records I have heard in a while."

These are just pieces of the puzzle, because Leels is its own beast, and this is a classic (rock) case of the sum being greater than the parts.

MP3: "Mandatory Highsteppers"

Leels' music is more overtly pop than you'd expect given their lineage; the album abounds with miniaturized heroic-rock passages and Paul McCartney-on-cough-syrup-with-ice hooks. (Magnet)

The album has an appealing sound-- slightly wistful, slightly ironic (Pitchfork)

The trio's music harks back to a simpler form of roots-rock. "Happenings" and "Precious Time" are simple ballads that echo Grateful Dead's country shuffles and Donovan's naive folk. The dreamy "Arbor Day," the delicate serenade "Odessa," the tender singalong "Closer To Be" are intimate and philosophical. There are experiments -- the dilated country-rock with pastoral flute of "Throttle," the art-rock progressions with Allman Brothers-ian jamming of "Floridian Towel," the trippy boogie and epic chorus of "Sailing Sister" -- but they too rely on simple, hummable melodies. (The History of Rock Music)

Visit the Leels website.

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