LEANDER: Pass Fail (Kennington Recordings)

Robert Rowlands on Mar 31st 2008 11:14 pm

Leander: Pass Fail

Pass Fail
Kennington Recordings 2008
11 Tracks. 45mins23secs

There is something immediately engaging about Pass Fail, from the moment the eponymous opener stirs to life. Languid vocals and drowsy indie colourings are given counterpoint by what sounds like a mislaid Autechre drum pattern. A melancholy mantra lingers – “And you say pass, fail, but this is not your voice” – an intriguing line whose meaning seems to drift somewhere out of reach of the listener. It is the sort of opener that offers untold promise – the casual delivery, the infectious tune, the dispassionate elegance of tone. And yet, for all its interest, this opening salvo proves to be a prelude to a series of disappointments that are as baffling as they are deflating.

In a way, the assured, ice-cold beginner feels as though it somehow should have its own separate existence, because what follows is a sequence of tracks that try to follow its template whilst never quite finding the right balance. Continue Reading »

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