Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Randolf's Leap - Cowardly Deeds

When I started writing for this blog one of my goals was to help let the world know about the wealth of quality pop music put out by the residents of Scotland.  I have never regretted that decision as each year has brought plentiful pop joys in multiple genres.  Today I'm here to proclaim the virtues of an Cowardly Deeds by Glasgow's Randolf's Leap.  Quite simply this album, and the band that created it, are a prime exhibit for the quality of the Scottish music scene.  The melodies are bright, hook-laden and memorable, and they are adorned not only with the usual compliment of guitars, bass and drums, but also with keys, string and brass.  Yes, having eight people in a band brings rewards to the arrangements even if it complicates voting where to go for dinner.  The lyrics are literate, clever and thoughtful.  As a vocalist, frontman and songwriter Adam Ross is sincere and convincing.  And overall, the performance of the band is energetic enough to make it clear that this band really, really likes what they are doing.  Nor is Cowardly Deeds all joyously uptempo.  The band provides an good measure of more reflective tunes, providing nuanced and restrained background for Ross' musing on life's uncertainties.

Randolf's Leap's earlier recordings took the lo-fi, bedroom recording approach.  But this album has higher production values, and the results are well worth the extra time and effort.  Combined with the skilled contribution from the band and Ross' talents for penning well-considered comments and them dressing them up in bright pop wrappings, this is one of the better bands Scotland has to offer, and Cowardly Deeds is a worthy calling card.

The band are Adam Ross (guitar/vocals), Adam Florence (drums), Vicki Cole (bass), Andrew MacLellan (guitar), Heather Fox (violin), Pete MacDonald (keyboards), Ali Hendry (trumpet) and Fraser Gibson (trombone).  Cowardly Deeds is out now via Glasgow's Olive Grove Records.  One source to purchase would be the Olive Grove Bandcamp page which is linked at the bottom of this post.

Olive Grove's Bandcamp page
Olive Grove Records

No comments: