World Leader Pretend
Punches


5.0
classic

Review

by Wayne Jackson USER (1 Reviews)
June 4th, 2006 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


World Leader Pretend are a New Orleans band with almighty influences (R.E.M., Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers), and they expand on their influences proudly, without stealing, but rather borrowing and recreating. They take the passion and depth of Radiohead, the abstract lyrics of R.E.M. circa Murmur, and the anthemic choruses of Manic Street Preachers and mold it into something best described as a great ***ing band. In this album, there is no filler. They recreate the overdone in such an invigorating and rejuvenating way, and blow all of their peers out of the overflowing Indie Rock water.
Punches is phenomenal. It is, according to allmusic.com, their debut and for a band to sign with Warner Brothers on their debut, well that is something. It is glossy, and is blessed with absolutely stunning production. One would expect some big-time producer given the pockets of Warner Brothers, but there's another reason why I love this band; Punches is self-produced. Once one hears this CD in its entirety, they'll understand how incredible that truly is. The melodies disgrace most others I've heard, the lyrics are witty and abstract, and the choruses are just breathtaking. Now, to delve into this astonishing album more deeply.

1.) Bang Theory -- A beautiful opener. Starts off with an incredible drum beat, to get the groove goin'. Then comes the piano loop. Then the guitar. Then the violin. Then Keith Ferguson's angelic voice. This song builds and builds until it climaxes into an amazing chorus, where all of the anticipation gets unleashed and the tempo relaxes for a moment, just to speed up again at the next verse. Towards the end of the song, you think you've heard everything when a gorgeous trumpet shoves its way through to the foreground.
Best part = the drums.
Rating = A-

2.) Dreamdaddy -- The album cools down a little. This song is pretty relaxed, and has a great feel to it. This song has a really good flow to it, and the chorus is damned near tear-jerking. More piano, a little xylophone, acoustic guitar, violin, and of course, Arthur Mintz's crashing drums.
Best Part = the flow, the chorus.
Rating = B+

3.) New Voices -- This song starts off with the curious lyrics "Let me piss in the wind. It only shows how fortunate we've been," and a nice little melody via acoustic guitars. A bass riff stops in, then a distorted piece tops it off. Keith's voice really shines on this one. This is one of my favorites on this album because it has such a bittersweet atmosphere.
Best part = the atmosphere, the lyrics, Keith's voice.
Rating = A

4.) Punches -- Rarely ever does a title track disappoint, and such is definitely the case here. This is the song that trapped me into WLP's lovely little world. Starts off with jingle bells. This shows somethin' different's goin' on. As it continues, the melody gets ever-lovelier. "On a wheel, out of tilt. Until all that spinnin' makes you ill. Pullin' strings. Daft appeal. Tell me what it is I'm supposed to feel." Dear God. "This place isn't fit for such perilous fits, so he punches back at the world." I'm speechless. "You're punches turn me into this, predetermined as it is. Hunky dorey vein of this. I'm alive!" Holy hell. My favorite song on this and any CD.
Best part = the lyrics, the instruments, the incredible tight sound.
Rating = A+

5.) Lovey Dovey -- A decent song, but it's obvious its purpose is to bring things to a calmer level before the really crazy stuff comes. There is a lovely backing voice in this song, contributed by Blair Gimma. It feels like a winter love song to me.
Best part = the backing vocals.
Rating = C+

6.) Harps -- The first instrumental. Despite the name, one will find no harps in this song. What there is is a really nice piano tune played over some barely audible cellos. This is also used to bring the CD back to neutral before slamming into first.

7.) The Masses -- This song starts off innocent enough; more sleigh bells and pianos. From beginning to end one can sense that this is a bit darker of a song than what's been encountered so far. This is one of two epic songs on this CD, and now one gets why the past two songs were short and calm. This is Keith's stand-out of the whole album. His voice soars, at times besting Thom Yorke. This song feels to me like the song that almost took "Karma Police"'s place on OK Computer, before Keith was like, "*** that, I see your dark, piano-driven song and raise you one."
Best part = Keith's voice, hands down.
Rating = A+

8.) Tit for Tat -- Things settle again. Gorgeous lyrics, obviously a smart, witty love song. Wondrous drumming, well, just great percussion overall. More xylophones on this one, and another majestic chorus. One of the more uplifting and optimistic songs on the album. "Tit for tat, she says, we're not in such prose." Just lovely, Keith. Contains the best bridge on the album. Definitely a standout.
Best part = Out-of-the-box lyrics, the bridge, kickass drumming.
Rating = A+

9.) Appassionato -- The second instrumental. Truly lovely. Well-placed, and beats the hell out of every other instrumental I've ever heard.
Best part = the swooping strings, and the barely audible pizzicato playing.
Rating = B+

10.) B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M. -- Here it really sounds like WLP are having fun. A neat little punk number that boasts an insanely catchy chorus and a boisterous horn outburst. A really different song from WLP, totally unlike the rest of the album.
Best part = the chorus, and its contrast to the rest of the album.
Rating = B+

11.) Into Thin Air -- Another mellow number. Has a really tribal feel at the beginning, and adds a nice flavor the album. Great synth in the background of the chorus. A great track overall, which builds and gets better as the song progresses. This track climaxes in the post-chorus.
Best part = the bridge, synths. and chorus.
Rating = A

12.) A Horse of a Different -- A sexy, seductive little number. A powerful song, with a lot of emotion behind the instrumentation. You can tell WLP is pissed on this one. A little more punky again, although not to the extent of B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M. The cynical, almost jealous feel of this song is what makes it so addicting.
Best part = the mood, and its contrast to the rest of the album.
Rating = A+

13.) A Grammarian Stuck in a Medical Drama -- The longest track on the CD, and also the album epic. This track builds off of the previous one; it takes the mood and magnifies it tenfold. A little angrier, with a little more aggression in it. After every chorus is a tranquil breakdown before the song starts back at square one. Another killer melody and chorus. Obviously, this is meant to cap off the album.
Best part = the tranquil breakdown.
Rating = B+

14.) Catch -- The last track is dreamy and barely audible. It's a graceful outro to one of the best CDs out there.


user ratings (2)
Chart.
4.8
classic

Comments:Add a Comment 
moffcronos
June 6th 2006


27 Comments


I haven't heard this band, but I get automatically turned off by bands that name themselves after other bands songs. World Leader Pretend is an R.E.M. song. Like Godsmack is an Alice In Chains song. It just seems like they're saying 'hey we lack originality' even thought the opposite may be true.

whj247
June 6th 2006


55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

moffcronos, i get what yer sayin, but radiohead totally proved that a band named after another band's song (talking heads) can be amazing.This Message Edited On 06.18.06

whj247
June 9th 2006


55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and yea i kno wlp is an r.e.m. song it's offa "green" which is under my recommendations.This Message Edited On 06.18.06

heyjesusman
August 12th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This CD defines sincerity. It's beautiful in every aspect. Only song I feel was forced is "A Horse of a Different", but I change my mind on it every now and then. I also don't like how "Appasionato" is a minute's worth of the same notes on piano and sleigh bells that is used to open up "The Masses."

Best songs: Punches, The Masses, Into Thin Air

heyjesusman
August 12th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review by the way...

Funeralopolis
March 29th 2012


11559 Comments


shit review lol 2006

Digging: Deep Puddle Dynamics - The Taste of Rain...Why Kneel

Funeralopolis
March 29th 2012


11559 Comments


gives majority of album B+ 5/5



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