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Leize > Devorando las calles > Reviews
Leize - Devorando las calles

Street Fighter II: Heavy Metal Edition - 91%

whensunburnsred, June 12th, 2010

Another underrated band. I seriously can’t understand why people would prefer Su ta Gar rather than Leize. The former’s debut was awesome, that’s true, but their next album started introducing groovy crap and was pretty much worthless – and it’s supposed to be one of their best albums. On the contrary, Leize’s output is impeccable and pretty original regarding style. The present album is their first release in a long, talented musical career that hopefully will give us more great releases.

Devorando las Calles is also one of my “ye olde time-e” full-of-charm albums. And more or less two decades after listening to this for the first time, I still love it like the first day. With a meagre production and very raw sound, Leize’s music sounds like made for, and by vagrants – in the sense of representing the daily misery and conflicts. With one of the crunchiest guitars I’ve ever heard, this band’s sound is something unique; extremely loud bass, high-pitched vocals and lead guitars, rather fuzzy guitar sound and thin tone, and finally, a lot of dialog-like structured choruses (dialogs between backing vocals and lead singer). The musicianship is top-notch here; heartfelt singing, showy guitar solos, powerful drumming and a special mention for the bass, which goes beyond a simple rhythmic task and helps building up the gloomy moods that flood Devorando las Calles.

While not the most elaborated music ever, the song writing is amazingly effective. Both vocal verses and instrumental music transmit despair and anguish as few bands can, and in a completely genuine style – at least I can’t think of any band that sounds like Leize. Simple in essence, Leize’s music is clearly leaded by the vocal lines, which are very catchy and well worked; very intelligent lyrics with a straight message, and sometimes with a lot of poetic beauty (the love ballad “Beso frío” is a clear example). The backing vocals, usually will shift verses with the lead singer when the chorus comes in, and it’s so fucking great and works so well, that the only thing left to do is to listen and enjoy. This of course doesn’t mean that the riffs, the drumming and the bass line are not important. Rhythmic guitars and bass lines are the essence of the music, if these didn’t create the street fighting atmosphere they actually do, everything would fall apart; without these you wouldn’t be able to visualize the barrel on fire surrounded by hoboes fighting for the best box.

While keeping in common the sound described above, the songs offer plenty of variety; we have the ballads “Beso frío” and “Principes del placer”; the mid-paced tunes “Absurdo”, “Sangre de barrio”, “Devorando las calles”, “Último instante”, “Soñador”; the up-tempo “La rueda” and the mostly speed metal “Muros”. The latter is undisputedly one of the highlights in this album; starting with a “the calm before the storm” intro, it immediately blows up in frantic drum, bass and guitar playing that won’t slow down until the chorus comes in; just exquisite. The solo and leads that come after the chorus, while not the best thing you’ll ever listen to, are very catchy and have good melodies. But if you analyze these in more depth, you’ll realize that a Maiden or Priest-like leads/solo wouldn’t really fit here; these are downtown streets kid, we make our solos out of dirt and poverty! Other highlights in this album are found in the title track; dealing with misery that homeless people have to face – or had to back in the 80s, when there wasn’t this new wave of fashionable, spoiled vagrants with iphones – living in the streets; you will feel persecuted, cold and flooded with loneliness while listening to this one. The chorus and the backing vocals are particularly catchy and moving; partly incredible, because Felix Lasa is not precisely DIO in terms of melody & power.

The weakest point of the album is “Sangre de barrio”, which never really worked for me. It still has the same pessimistic, gang hideout atmosphere – even more than other songs – but the chorus really doesn’t work; it gets too repetitive and boooooooooo-ring.

That’s all folks, another good album reviewed and hopefully I will be able to keep on reviewing their material and convince someone to listen to them. The album is really worth getting; high quality at low, low prices. While not as heavy as this album, if you like this one you should try their next album Buscando, Mirando….