Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish
Andrew Hamlin 1 p.m., July 29
Ben Ripani: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Keyboards, Vocals | Frank Green: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Keyboards, Vocals | Justin Bryant: Bass guitar, Vocals | Nas Helewa: Drums, Vocals
Sound description: Surprisingly mod-sounding alt-rock.
RIYL: The Pixies
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Influences: Dave Matthews, the Wallflowers, the Pixies, Neil Young, Elvis Costello
Down with Leo released their self-titled first EP in 2007. The band has combined rhythms from Manchester, vocals from Dave Matthews, and a Pixies/Elvis Costello sensibility. Songs on this EP range from hand-clapping piano pop to moody, progressive alt-rock.
Their tempo is slow without dragging. There really aren't any solos, only breaks in the vocals that act as cooling-off periods. Down with Leo has perfected pace changes and sophisticated compositions to make every song interesting. Lyrically, each track tells a story, and the narrative is revealed as the song builds.
In 2008, Down With Leo split. Frank Green (lead guitar/vocals) formed Gray Ghosts, with members of the Kite Flying Society, the Ex-Friends, and the Bloody Hollies.