DEFORESTERS: Leonard: LP/CD

After two excellent EPs, Deforesters’ ability to conjure up a blend of Face To Face and Pegboy finally finds its way on to a long player. It is one hell of a record. Both of those EPs were flawless and four of the eight tracks have found their way onto Leonard, although my personal favorite was not included. I’ll let the band off, though. The quartet are more than adept at offering up really catchy melodic punk rock that invigorates me and does so from start to finish here. I wouldn’t tag the band as being overtly humorous, but with a song title like “The Topiary Animals Are Telling Me to Do Terrible Things,” it shows a tongue-in-cheek approach is within Deforesters’ arsenal. That doesn’t detract from a serious side, as is found on “Is This a God Damn?” where the existence of an afterlife is treated as a folly. I was eagerly awaiting this release. It has exceeded my expectations. –Rich Cocksedge (Black Numbers, [email protected], theblacknumbers.com)