The Leeds Scenester

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The Extremes


The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for Leeds blues-rock band The Extremes. Having only been together for a matter of months you’d forgive them for sitting back and just devoting time to writing and rehearsing, but far from taking it easy they have thrown themselves in the deep end and seen this move pay dividends with a well-polished music video, gigs at this year’s Glastonbury festival and their 3-track debut EP which is up for review here.

The EP kicks off with their single Angel Grind, to which the music video was produced. The song has a main riff which lazily strolls along. This is accompanied by a pronounced and emphatically sparse rhythm section which gives the tune a minimalist feel until the harmonica comes in and ties everything together into a nicely blended mix of indie and a quirky alt-blues, reminiscent of an act such as Alabama 3. It is a song which compels you to tap out the beat, preferably on the side of a car in which you are cruising slowly with the windows rolled down.

Next up, Give It Up, is in my opinion the strongest track on the CD. With a blistering step up in the tempo, the rapid quasi-reggae guitar is driven along by the wailing melody of the harmonica; The Extremes kick it up into the higher gears. Listening to this track it is difficult to see why it wasn’t chosen as an obvious contender for the single. It is incredibly catchy, potentially much more edgy than Angel Grind and seems to showcase the undeniable ability of the band to a greater degree. One thing that is for sure is that I can guarantee that this one will be a crowd-pleaser.

Final track Cold Steel Karma brings the pace crashing back down into swampy, sludgy, delta territory with a song that would have not seemed incongruous drifting through the dimly-lit doors of the dangerous and mysterious One Eyed Jack’s in early 90s cult-show Twin Peaks. Dirty, compellingly smooth and undeniably very sexy.

All in all this is an excellent offering from a band that I genuinely look forward to checking out the next time I hear of them playing in Leeds. Expect big things and even bluesier music from these guys in the coming years.

Andy Duckworth

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