Eugene Weekly : Music : 2.14.08

Death to Indie
Leo London takes it down

If there exists someone within this sporadic, quirky music scene who could maybe, just maybe, kill indie rock, that person would be Eugene’s own homegrown Leo London. At least, he and his motley consortium of musicians would like everyone to think that’s what they’re capable of — hence the title of their debut album, Leo London Kills Indie Rock.

In order to accomplish this task, London (formerly of The Tiffany Lamps and Portland’s The Deleted Scenes) boils many aspects of this particular music genre and movement down to its essence, incorporating a logical line of succession from ’60s rock to aspects of folk and on through to punk, with a wee splash of that Motown tinge. At times, the music edges precariously into the realm of Burt Bacharach or Elton John. But those moments have their logical place in the grand scheme of this project, so their most wincing elements are forgivable. The chord progressions can be simplistic and poppy and then in the next moment gracefully ebb into denser elements of composition, without the campy faux-virtuosity of progressive rock or metal.

Leo London Kills Indie Rock is the product of more than nine months of recording and playing, mostly by London himself. Initially a 35-track bonanza, it has been boiled down and remixed to 21 tracks (still over 70 minutes of good times) by Eric Munch of Munch Studios in Seattle, and the result is an impressive musical statement for such a young act.

Live, Leo London the band includes members of The Ingredients and Love That Dress, and for the CD release you can expect at the very least to hear the dynamic mix of Mike Serritelli on guitar, Bryan Wollen on the drum kit, Elliot Crosswhite on the Fender Rhodes and Scott Herscher on the vibes. But it’s possible more musicians could lurk onto the stage to aid in the all-out dance party — a dance party on the grave of indie rock.

Leo London CD release party with Basia Bulat. 9:30 pm Friday, Feb. 15. Sam Bond’s Garage • $8. 21+ show.