[24th February 2014]
01. Save Me From Myself
02. Universes & Supernovas (The Ride)
04. Run With The Foxes
05. Dangerous Devotion
06. Mega High
07. Do Gooders
08. Once I’d Started I Was Never Stopping
09. King Things
10. Mothers Grave/ Leave With Us
What a bunch of cults. Yes, cults, you filthy monkey. Stalking out of the mists of South Yorkshire are Servers, and their debut album Leave With Us shows that they have more than a passing interest in those who set themselves up as messianic figures with a neat line in apocalyptic statements and unfulfillable promises.
Leave With Us carries with it an extra level of excitement, as it is the first new release from recently reactivated Undergroove Records. I wrote a quick personal retrospective when they first broke cover, and expect more on this in the future.
But for now, should you take Servers advice, and leave with them? The short answer is a resounding yes. Guitarist/Vocalist Lee Storrar builds on his past life with Undergroovers GU Medicine and, together with drummer Ant Nettleship and bass player Lee Wilde, delivers a solid, well-rounded album packed to the cowl with hooks that make Leave With Us well worth the trip.
The band kick out a noise that is remarkably dense, given the trio configuration – although we will have to wait and see how much of this translates into the live environment – and sounds like Earthtone9 returning from an expedition into the desert with Josh Homme to spot UFOs and eat peyote cactus. The production is notably crisp and clear, and you are unlikely to hear drums sounding quite as mighty this side of a Clutch record.
Leave With Us is propelled by huge, surging riffs and riddled with infectious hooks. Lead single “Universes & Supernovas” appears here in all its unedited six-minute glory, so the brawny body of the song melts seamlessly into a heartfelt and wistful string-led coda. The entire album carries a slightly menacing, portentous undercurrent that comes crashing to the fore during “Do Gooders” with its lumbering refrain of “There’s too many do gooders”.
Elsewhere, Lee adopts the persona of a cult member on “Dangerous Devotion”, and the chorus – backed with more plaintive strings – offering up everything he is and everything he owns to the nameless cause, capturing the delicate balance of hopeful and hopeless that characterises those drawn into these shadowy subcultures. It’s emotive stuff.
Leave With Us is weighted between uptempo stompers and slower, spacier tracks. The net result is particularly well paced, so the forty-five minute run time passes in a flash, leaving the listener with the spoken words and haunting certainty of Heaven’s Gate leader Marshall Applewhite ringing in their ears, and hungry for more.
This is a high-quality, self-assured album full of memorable moments. The cultish themes add an extra intellectual layer that is the icing on an already tasty alt-metal cake. Leave With Us shows that Servers mean serious business.