Album Reviews

Leland Sundries

Music For Outcasts

Artist:     Leland Sundries

Album:     Music For Outcasts

Label:     L’echiquier/Weiner Records

Release Date:     06/03/2016


Music For Outcasts, the latest by New York outfit Leland Sundries is an instantaneous lesson in obsessive listening practices. Within a few minutes the raucous jangle of the record realizes the supreme and sudden re-listenability it holds, as is standard of the tongue-in-cheek “alternative country” we so frightfully enjoy. Music For Outcasts is the rough and tumble counterpart to Bill Callahan’s introverted musings on the literal landscape of America. Full of cocky platitudes in the face of self-doubt, Leland Sundries has crafted a perfectly familiar antithesis to Americana while embracing the vernacular that allows elitists to imagine they have a grasp upon it.

There’s an unabashed recklessness in Music For Outcasts that doesn’t necessarily translate from flaming riffs or screaming flange or pseudo-poetry about amber currents – though Nick Loss-Eaton’s quivering larynx certainly does the trick. No, Leland Sundries’ most valuable asset is the ferocity in delivering music a lá classic East Coast weirdos via the tinge of classic cowpunk. It extracts the best of would-be Dharma Bums burnouts and brusque Salt Valley-clad noodlers into something comprehensive but without perhaps so much insight into being quite so fortified.

To top it off, Music For Outcasts is thoroughly funny. From the non sequitur romp of “Stripper From Bensonhurst” to the apropos “Apocalypse Love Song,” the record is rife with some moments of hilarity to positively ebullient treatises of human behavior. It’s something one might show the staunchest of alt-country fans to the most liberal fringe punk listeners. This here’s a winner.

– Jake Tully

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