“Open Skies” is ripped jeans, high energy, fast guitar and raging lyrics. It’s the old days of rock bands yelling to the audience and the audience yells back. It’s reminiscent of Kings of Leon, the Fratellis, Wheatus and Editors. It’s the new single from Oxford/Buckingham five piece LEADER.
“Open Skies” shatters your run down-after work aura from the get go, with bombastic instrumentals and rhapsodic drums that move from lively at the outset, to vigorously dynamic by the peak of the track. Lead singer, Ben Edgdinton, has a Caleb Fowell strain to his voice that manages to balance the energy of the melody with sincerity. A slight synth to the electronic percussion gives “Open Skies” an almost pop punk feel at the verses, and brings an oddly retro dynamic to the instrumentals, even though it’s a more modern production choice.
“Open Skies” remains faithful to the bands’ Brit-rock sound: other singles “Golden” leans towards a Wombats feel, whilst “Chasing You” seems as if it could belong on a St Vincent record.
But LEADER are readdressing the balance between rock and Brit-pop in this single, with soaring choruses, blistering lyrics and clashing instruments. They remind us of the glory days of guitar breaks and drum solos, the magnitude of which can only be rivalled by Matt Helders or Stewart Copeland.
In a musical landscape consisting of a plethora of tangled genres, politically correct lyrics and complicated, experimental arrangements, the predictable rock dynamics that LEADER produce are a welcome break. Their sound lets us come down from our pedestal of innovation, and just get lost in music even if we don’t know the tune.
Listen to Open Skies on Spotify