Ask the Dead, “The Leans” EP

coverIntros can be complicated things. Sometimes, an intro teases what you can expect from a song, and other times, it's a counterpoint. I've come to learn that I want my song intros to tease the song. Counterpoints usually mean that, should I enjoy the intro, I will not be much of a fan of the song. Such is the case with the burbling electronics and shimmering guitars that open up Ask the Dead's "The Leans," the titular track to their new EP. The introduction's production had me hoping this would be quiet and weird, but once you get into the meat of the songs, they're standard alt rock, strongly influenced by the likes of the Foo Fighters. The vocals are way too high in the mix, making what could've been something pretty decent less so, given that the strain in the singer's voice becomes that much mroe apparent when not masked by a pretty decent band. A little more deviation from the norm, and we could've had something like the Burden Brothers, which took the Toadies and gave them a makeover by way of the Murder City Devils. You get hints of what could be during a breakdown on "All Fall Down," where the bass gets funky, but past those few seconds and the opening of the EP, this is frighteningly basic modern rock radio stuff. I'm sure they're fun live, but this EP is pretty much