This album will be a classic. You read it here first, so remember.
Kieran Leonard (who is Saint Leonard’s Horses) has a cv to make you feel totally inadequate — he’s spent much his life travelling and the people he comes across recognise a unique talent: Ryan Adams let him use his studio, Stanley Kubrick’s family estate was opened up for him to record; Wolfmother met him and offered a tour. He’s toured or played with Father John Misty, The Libertines, Bob Dylan, Adam Green, Peter Doherty and Billy Bragg. He sounds like none of them.
He’s lived in an abandoned gothic church in north Yorkshire, a log cabin on the outskirts of Nashville and a motel in the Mojave Desert.
This album, recorded as Saint Leonard’s Horses, reflects his varied career and at some time in his life you could presume he’s been fond of bands as varied as ELO, Kings Of Leon and/or Lyrnyrd Skynyrd, and the Super Furries.
In many ways, this is a perfect rock album; its only flaw is it’s a little downbeat. If it was all sparkly and more chipper, like Rumours, it would be unbeatable. As it is, it’s just darn good.
It opens with Well Well Well, a slow and bluesy track, while track two Long John Silver has a harder, rock guitar riff. It’s a bit Mark Cohen. Track three, Rise Up, has the slickest bassline you ever will hear; it hits a groove in the opening note and stays there.
Lyrically it’s clever, mixing literary references with earthier language; one song is called Underwood Milk, another The Strangelove Hotel Suite, perhaps a reference to his Kubrick sojourn.
Excellent, grown up, thoughtful melodic rock. If you want to treat yourself to a CD for Christmas, make it this. A great album.
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