Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Apr 13th, 2022

Leadbetter Band: Howl

Leadbetter Band
(CD Baby)

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A heavy beat with Mark Johnson’s organ spikes and some chunky guitar runs inform the opener “Waterdogs” from Oregon-based rock trio Leadbetter Band’s new Howl. The second tune, with a hint of Doobie Brothers here, “Snake Oil,” follows, circling the listener in the funky brew Eric Leadbetter, Patrick Pearsall, and Dylan Bernal manage to create.

“Time Waits” slows things down considerably, with sweet echoey guitar noodling from Eric L. starting the tune. I really like his vocals here (with Stephanie Slade lending her voice on the harmonies) and how the song stays the course of a mature, studied ballad. The ending is slow and shimmery, with far away sounding guitar and vocals even more poignant than at the start of the tune.

Things get stompin’ and heavy on the wonderfully snarky “Feeding the landlord.” This one features a cool rockin’ blues vocal and the band tighter-than-tight. We get some Black Crowes-sounding slipping and sliding, with Pete Kartsounes checking in on wild harmonica on “On the Road,” the funky ballad “Find Your Love Again,” and the trio high and heavy rockin’, with just the correctly placed harmony, on a near Allman Bother’s read on “Middle Man.”

Pearsall’s bass is as front and center as it ever gets on any of these eleven, pumping the ender “The Hammer,” along with Bernal snapping his snare. Again, Leadbetter gives it his best here, and the band manages another great chorus with heavy verses  and solid drive. You can’t beat Howl for a rousing good time or solid rock tunes played by musicians who deliver.

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Leadbetter Band: Howl