At the core are The Leg’s long-term trio of mercurial vocalist and driving force Dan Mutch, cellist, producer and one-man scratch orchestra Pete Harvey and percussive polymath Alun Scurlock (formerly Alun Thomas). The three have played together for the best part of twenty years, ever since Mutch first unleashed his first band, Khaya, into the world before it morphed into Desc, eventually realigning as The Leg.
The Leg have pillaged their way through four albums in their own right, they have also provided muscle, heft and salty shout-alongs with their comrade-in-song over four LPs as Paul Vickers and The Leg.
Chromatic Perversion features guitarist James Metcalfe and bass player John Mackie swelling the ranks. Metcalfe comes to The Leg after stints in The Pineapple Chunks led to his current tenure in Zed Penguin and Tardigrades. Mackie’s pedigree dates all the way back to Khaya.
After years working at the coal-face in search of buried treasure at Harvey’s Pumpkinfield studio hideaway where the album was recorded, they have finally come blinking into the light with wayward and possibly gleeful abandon. So welcome to paradise.
Check out ‘Trouble At The Center of The Universe’ – BELOW:
The Leg’s frenetic folk-punk gallop has never sounded so focused or at moments as liberated and as euphoric as on this latest opus. Harnessing the driven mayhem of its quartet of predecessors – 8 Songs by the Leg, What Happened to the Shrunken Tina Turner?, An Eagle to Saturn and Oozing a Crepuscular Light – Chromatic Perversion is infused with a more upbeat and organic skip.
It’s as if messing with dark forces frolicking in the woods at midnight have given way to shafts of morning sun piercing through the trees. Most of the time, anyway. From the opening Radge Almond Mutches, Chromatic Perversion is the sound of getting your head together in the country, but not always liking what you find.
Beyond the drum-skitters and scrape of strings, a rustic old-world charm nevertheless pervades beyond the foreboding urgency of the likes of Impossible Colours, and on Trouble at The Centre of The Universe seems to dance a jig to life itself.
At the other end of the woods, shades of Nirvana by way of Black Sabbath seem to possess Those Dogs. Coming out the other side, a cover of Moondog’s High on a Rocky Ledge melds the joie de vivre of The Move with the most manic string action this side of John Cale a la Venus in Furs.