Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leiana - Lucky #3



I don’t know what to tell you.  I cannot explain what happened without sounding like a crazy person.  There I was Tuesday morning, minding my own business, when out of the blue comes this young lady who gets on my subway train and makes a b-line right for me.  I swear I’d never laid eyes on this woman before that day.  She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and flowers tattooed all down her right arm.  What I’m trying to say is that I’m positive I would have remembered meeting her.  Anyway she walked right to where I was sitting in the train car, stopped, and fixed me with an intense gaze.

“Are you Penfold?”
“Um, yes.  Have we met before?”
“No.”
“Well in that case…”
“Shut up and pay attention.”
“Oh, uh, okay.”
“What is your lucky number?”
“My lucky number?  It’s two.”
“Not today it isn’t.  For the rest of the day your lucky number is three.”
“But I’m rather partial to two.”
“The number two will lead you nowhere and win you nothing.  The number three on the other hand will provide you with benefits beyond the scope of your pitiful imagination.”
“Pitiful?  Hey now!  I may not be the world’s greatest free thinker but I…”
“Remember what I have told you Penfold.  Three is your number.  Three.”

Before I could say anything else she was gone, barely making it out of the subway car before the doors shut and the train began to move.  People were looking at me quizzically for several minutes afterword.  Not knowing how to respond I could only shrug and make my best ‘you tell me’ face.  Thankfully we quickly arrived at the next stop, where I promptly exited the subway car and climbed the stairwell to street level.  The sky was overcast, and the city was bathed in its usual dreariness.  I maneuvered myself towards the cab line and witnessed the first strange occurrence of the day.  Right before I made it to the first available cab I looked up to see a beam of sunlight spotlighting the third cab in the line.  The third cab?  Why not? 

I got in and the driver took off.  The cab made the commute in what seemed like record time.  When I went into the office building where I work the receptionist asked me how I was able to avoid all the traffic.  I thought about the route the driver had taken.  A few turns and then straight down Third Street.  Hmm?  I decided then and there to ride this whole lucky number three thing as far as I could for the remainder of the day.  Wondering if I might be able to avoid the regular start and stop ascension to my floor I chose the third elevator.  Sure enough even though the elevator was full of passengers I was the first one off.  Lucky!

What else happened that day?  Let’s see.  My third sales call generated enough profit to blow past my monthly earnings goal.  I was the third person named to the sales group chosen to go to Hawaii for two weeks.  The third time proved to be the charm when I asked the attractive young lady who works on the floor below me to dinner.  Oh, and there was that one little thing that happened on my way home.  I stopped by a convenience store and bought five lotto tickets.  Ticket number three?  You guessed it.  Lucky!

It’s time for some reflection waveriders.  Indeed, it’s time to think long and hard about what I was doing in the middle portion of the year 2010.  Where was I living at the time?  Was I obsessing over work?  Did a certain leisure activity blot out everything else on my schedule?  What were my friends interested in at the time?  These questions are worthwhile, but none of them will answer the most pressing question of all.  Why was I not aware of an artist named Leiana and her newly released album Lucky #3?  I can only claim ignorance folks and in this instance, ignorance is definitely not bliss.

If only I had been paying attention back then my listening life would have received a massive jolt of enjoyment.  Thankfully Leiana recently contacted The Ripple Effect and I have been able to apply that same massive jolt of enjoyment to my 2012 listening life.  What has been the result?  Right now waveriders, life is good.  This album flat out rocks!  Start to finish, top to bottom, front to back, Lucky #3 is a winner!  It grabs hold of you immediately and it never looks back.  So what does this artist sound like?  I’m glad you asked.

Vocally Leiana often sounds like a pissed off Joan Jett, which is awesome!  Her voice is crisp, clear, and immediately likable.  She also displays a great vocal range.  At the drop of a hat Leiana can effortlessly shift from sounding snarly and nasty to melodic and downright vulnerable.  The instrumentation is a bit harder to nail down.  For lack of a better term I like to describe this music as punk n’ roll.  Without question these songs fall squarely under the umbrella of hard rock, but there is a massive undercurrent of punk running through their veins.  Add to that some serious nods to 90’s alternative rock and 80’s glam metal and voila!  The listener is left with one meaty sonic stew.

Not to completely switch gears here, but well…here we go.  Is it me or are there currently several high quality female rock singers where only a short while back I had trouble locating any at all?  I’m not referring to the gothic rock bands as they have consistently stuck to their female fronted formula over the years.  No, I’m referring to women like Leiana who hold court over straight ahead rock/punk bands or the hybrids forging their own path.  When I think about it I’m sure that these strong female vocalists were always there for me to discover, but I lacked the necessary wherewithal to locate them.  It’s a shame because I love the variety talented female singers add to my otherwise male singer dominated listening habits.  Okay then.  It’s time to get back to the business at hand.

Lucky #3 is positively filled with song highlights.  Album opener “Nothing=You” steamrolls the listener with its unrelenting, in your face, Motorhead inspired madness.  Riff based destruction is potently delivered on songs like “Love Don’t Matter”, “Change”, and “Suffer”.  We’re talking big meaty guitars with positively nasty tones.  Leiana’s punk side completely takes over on songs like “Over” and “Down To You”.  But wait.  Hold your horses.  Don’t be tricked into thinking there is not more variety on offer here.  Would you like a nice ballad?  Of course you would!  Take a listen to “Breathe” and enjoy.  Finally there is the track “Day Is Done”.  Is that a country western inspired ditty I hear?  Why yes it is!  And it sounds great!

Waveriders, those of you in the market for something new and interesting to add to your musical diet need look no further than Leiana’s Lucky #3.  Do you like hard rock?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you do.  Do you like punk?  Call me crazy, but I bet you like punk too.  Do you like it when those two types of music are combined to great success?  Of course you do!  How could you not?  Lucky #3 is an album that will take an axe to your front door, chase you around your own home, and spit in your face while it forcibly takes over your stereo.  Check into this one pronto folks.

--Penfold

Buy Here- Leiana’s first two albums can be found here…http://leiana.bandcamp.com/
Check www.leiana.com for news concerning the re-release of Lucky #3







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