Fatten the Leeches has a lo-fi aesthetic that’s charming.
Cancers is an Athens, Georgia, group comprised of the duo of Ella Kaspar and Lenny Miller, who recently tied the knot. Their sound is a throwback to the grunge sounds of the early ‘90s, which is evidenced by the fact that their debut album Fatten the Leeches was recorded in Seattle with none other than Jack Endino as producer. Endino was responsible for knob-twiddling for the likes of Nirvana, Hole, Babes in Toyland and Soundgarden. So this album, which is fairly short at 24 minutes, making it almost an EP, is reminiscent of early ‘90s Sub Pop groups. But as far as homage goes, this is outstanding stuff – the kind of music that they don’t make anymore. Part of the likability goes to Kaspar’s girlish vocals, bringing to mind Velocity Girl. And the guitars have real bite; you can easily play air guitar to this.
Fatten the Leeches also has a lo-fi aesthetic that’s charming. You’ll generally hear tape hiss running throughout the disc, and the album has a certain fuzziness in sound that pushes everything into the red. While this is hardly original stuff, the songs have an enormous stadium-sized sound, and crunch and crush with zeal. The only song that sticks out is “Liar”, which is a low-key guitar strum, and while it may break up the momentum of the album, it’s fairly unmemorable and too poorly produced to make much of an impact. Still, Fatten the Leeches is full of big, bad rock hooks, and there’s plenty to enjoy in a retro-tinged way. Perhaps we’re on the verge of another grunge revolution, and it’s bands like Cancers that will be more than certainly leading the way, even if they’re not from Seattle and merely are copping a sound. Play this loud and proud.