Under Review

Leverton Fox

Country Dances

Gravid Hands

Review By Chad Thiessen

On their debut album, Leverton Fox devise surprisingly cohesive arrangements that remain true to their clearly experimental and improvisational roots. Country Dances can be summarized as the band’s first few identity crises wrapped in a tidy package, as it compiles and sets out to blend a variety of electronic and organic sounds into a psychedelic, avant-jazz experiment. Songs like the glitchy, low end grumbler “Rubbed Out,” the haunted-basement-dwelling “Radar Remote,” and the cavernous “Vulpecula” are all dripping with cosmic mud and help send the album into darker, more evocative realms. The hazy “N4 Comedown” and album standout “Spectre & Wagon” are among some of the album’s more subdued songs that focus on intermittent jazz-style percussion and echoing trumpet augmented by thin layers of gritty feedback, swirling synthesizers and samples from field recordings. It is these songs that prove the band’s already ambitious approach to musical catharsis. In comparison, tracks like “Prang” and “Uncle Jack” seem slightly juvenile and atmospherically misplaced due to their simplicity. The more complex layering on the album allow for the band’s improvisational qualities to fully exert themselves and while its occasional rigidity certainly leave more to be desired, the album finds, for brief moments, a loose identity within its semi-viscuous layers of sound.