Leadsucker's debut album "Burn" is an interesting exploration of music in its rawest form. There is a crushing brutality in a majority of these tracks, many of which last less than a single minute. Indeed, this is the perfect album for a generation of ADHD adolescents in this regard, but it's message perhaps the most the vital contribution during this 30 track album. In essence, Leadsucker is a new incarnation of the hardcore music movement, and as such there themes of political disgust paired with a musical aggression is accessible to people into this style of music, though undoubtedly will be abrasive to just about any other ear that takes a moment to listen in. As for myself, I fall into the category of the former, as I have a deep appreciation and enjoyment found in extreme music of this nature which so often sits on the outskirts of "normal" society. But, I can retain some objectivity despite my enjoyment of this genre, and will examine in more detail Leadsucker's "Burn" to determine if it is worth the listen or worth passing on entirely.
One of the first things I always look at when I check out a new album is the production quality. I personally listen to music ranging from amateurish to very much professionally mastered, and enjoy both styles of music production to be enjoyable depending on context. Leadsucker’s overall sound is great for a debut album. It’s not amateur sounding by any stretch, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of feeling overly produced, or business suit professional. The music is in your face and relatively raw. Little is done in terms of after effects. The tracks are not drowned out in atmospheric reverb or some other effect to add a lingering, emotional resonance. Again, it is right in your face. And for this style of music: it works. I immediately found similarities with the track structures and production values to be comparable to some early Norwegian black metal artists, who worked with some similar sounds and themes. A few of these artists include Darkthrone and Immortal. Moving forward, the compositions are effective, but nothing to really right home about. Indeed, only so much can be done in a genre heavily reliant on fast tempos, fast rhythms, and some power chords. Even more noteworthy is essentially the ignorance of any “normal” song structure, in exchange for these fast paced tracks that end as quickly as they begun. If you are looking for a musically complex album, you may be disappointed by most of these compositions individually. However, if you are here for the politically charged message of Leadsucker paired with the idea that the entire album is one song, it may work better.
The instrumentation present on this album is on par with what you would expect from the genre. Raw and trebly distorted guitars paired with fast paced drums and an aggressive vocal style would quickly define the instrumental tone of “Burn.” As it is though, the lyrics are really one of the major drawing points to this album. The first track, America Doesn’t Give a F--- About You,” opens up with the lines,
“You are a number, a statistic, a footnote
Forgettable and mute in the middle class
They've got you blind and oblivious to the facts
They don't care what's best for you
They want what's best for them
They call it democracy, but we don't have a say or choice
Just faceless servants entertaining the rich”
The remainder of the album follows in a similar suit, and I personally enjoyed the lyrics thoroughly. Fortunately, the thoughts in these songs are legible and sensible, as opposed to some hardcore bands that find themselves just singing a rabble of words with the idea being anti-establishment and politically aggressive, but only coming across as half-hearted. Leadsucker doesn’t fall into this track, fortunately.
“Burn” by Leadsucker is a solid politically charged hardcore album. Considering the band was founded by a guy who originally worked in a large government agency, then opted to revolt against the system because of it’s corruption is a compelling argument for hardcore music’s existence and the pure existence of this album. The fast paced music we are presented in these 30 short tracks are effective at getting across a message. If I was to highlight a real problem with this album from a musical aspect, it would be that none of the tracks really stick out after listening to the album. They all blur together and form one large song, and in some ways this is fine, but it’s almost to be expected with the fast pace of this entire album. It is relentless and in your face, and the guys behind it know this. This album scores well with me as someone into hardcore and extreme music styles, but would likely score pretty poorly by anyone with a taste for finer music. This isn't a musically complex piece of work, but it forces us to emit emotions we often don't exhibit. Anger, frustration, etc. At best I can sum up my review like this: If you like punk music with a message, you will probably like this.
Leadsucker Main Site