10 January 2007

Meet The Leftovers, Part 2

I could have sworn I'd used that "Meet The Leftovers" tag a year or two ago, and it turns out I was right. On that occasion I was posting about this young Portland, Maine band's picture-perfect covers of a few Beatles songs, and noting that they were a musical force to be reckoned with, even if they were barely out of high school.

Since then they've gone on to produce a couple records of original material and played gigs all over the Eastern United States and, in a real coup for an as yet barely known band, the UK. But they're not likely to remain barely known for long, not with the brilliant songwriting and performances they've been turning in, and even more so now that Ben Weasel has taken them under his not insubstantial wing.

The Leftovers have already recorded some sterling stuff (it doesn't hurt that Adam, their drummer, is already an accomplished studio engineer) for the up-and-coming Rally Records (the record label that is literally from Mars). Now it looks (don't ask me for details, as I'm in the wrong hemisphere to be up to date on these inter-label goings-on) as though Mr. Rally has formed some sort of alliance with Ben's new digital-only Mendota Recording Co., so exactly where and how the new Leftovers album presently being recorded will become available to the public is still a little unclear to me. One thing that's not unclear, however, is that it will almost certainly be sensational, so you'd better plan on getting it ASAP. Ben waxes a bit lyrical on these guys, telling those who suspect he might be, as the British say, overegging the pudding, that, "I saw Operation Ivy and Green Day a bunch of times before they got big." The implication is clear that he considers the Leftovers to be in that same class, and he may well be right.

I know the kind of excitement they engender when they take the stage is akin to what I felt when I saw Green Day and Op Ivy in the early days; the one thing that might - I say "might" - stop me from unhesitatingly declaring them the next big thing would be that as of last summer, anyway, they were still coalescing as a band and developing their own unique style. Both Green Day and Op Ivy, new as they were when I first saw them, already had that sound that set them apart from every other band, whereas the Leftovers - again, as of last summer - still had a tendency to sound like a compendium of about half a dozen different totally great bands. At the rate they were going then, however, I'd expect them to come roaring out of the blocks with some staggeringly great new stuff and remove any residual doubts I might have.

Oh, but one other potential problem, and one that is only likely to get bigger as the band does: there are about half a dozen bands already using the name "Leftovers." None of them are of any great consequence, but the music business being what it is, it's a fair bet that one of them has by now trademarked the name and will surface with lawsuits or injunctions just when the real Leftovers are bursting forth onto the world stage. I'd suggest finding a new name before that happens (unless of course, someone has already done a trademark search and secured the name for our boys). But if the name has to be changed, here's my suggestion: The Left. I know it carries the unwarranted implication that the guys are a bunch of hippie radicals, but it's as close to "The Leftovers" as you can get (you don't want "The Overs," do you, especially not after reading my previous post about cricket?), sounds kind of edgy, and, I'm willing to bet, hasn't been taken by another band.

Plus, and this is a big plus, with any luck it will really piss off the commies.


Anonymous said...

The Left(L)overs?

Chuck said...

I'm willing to give the new record a few spins, but everything I've heard thusfar sounds like third rate Screeching Weasel. Don't get me wrong, I love SW, but the Leftover's hooks pale in comparison. Do they even have a classic song yet? I haven't heard anything approaching the quality of a Guest List/Peter Brady/etc.

Larry Livermore said...

I know I said the Leftovers sound like a compendium of several great bands, but I never thought Screeching Weasel were on of them. I see virtually no similarity between the Leftovers and SW (apart from both being excellent in their own ways), so it's hard for me to understand how they could be a "third rate" copy. The Steinways and Zatopeks both have much more in common with Screeching Weasel, though neither could be called a copy or third rate for the simple fact that they're both absolutely brilliant!

jonny said...

interested in a listen?

David said...

They sound more like early Ramones, or power pop bands than SW, especially compared to other bands like The Prozacs. The Leftovers sound has more in common with The Riverdales.