Wolverhampton artist Leigh Bucknall, M.A.N.G.O - EP review
DIY is very much the theme for Leigh Bucknall as he releases his new solo EP.
The frontman of Wolverhampton band Flatline Stereo! who appeared as The Ticket's Unsigned band recently, has been busy in his very own studio putting together his M.A.N.G.O EP from start to finish.
Recording, producing, singing, playing every instrument you hear - it's all down to Wolves-mad Leigh, and he should be proud of his finished product as a result.
It carries a very light rock sound, like those big Brit groups of the early-to-mid-90s who graced festival stages and encouraged sing-alongs at the top of your voice while spilling your pint of scrumpy everywhere except in your mouth.
It's five tracks in length, and each brings its own qualities to the party.
Nineteen is perhaps the poppiest on offer with its bravado vocal style punching jovially throughout the melodies provided by guitars and keys. Its bright and uplifting chorus is radio-friendly enough to garner airtime but does well to stop short of becoming an annoyingly saccharine stomach-churner. This is a hard skill!
Scars begins sounding like it might be a piano ballad before thumping percussion bursts in to lift the track into a soft rock sphere that allows Leigh to scratch his vocals up a bit and let loose.
There is a bit of aggy attitude to Is There Something I Should Know. Here the main strengths lie in the musical interludes. The chorus melody drops the angst for a second to hit a playful riff that will give live gig goers the chance to stomp around.
And with Just A Fool For Love we are taken into the realms of Greenday, particularly the American Idiot era. Things take a more sombre tone, without losing the grainy quality to the guitars that keeps it above being a strictly pop song.
And closer Shooting Stars is where we truly get to grips with stadium rock. The chorus is geared to sing-along fans for sure.
The sound holds a really professional feel. It sounds like something Delays would have released at the height of their career, and they had the pop-rock genre down to a tee.
To buy a copy of the EP, click here.