SINGLE REVIEW: Uncut – Leviathan

Dense layers of guitars and drums greet the listeners on Uncut‘s debut single “Leviathan”. The band is new to the South African music scene having played their debut show on 5 August. Their newbie status does not mean that their first musical offering is as chaotic and confused as it often can be with alternative bands. There is a sense of precision and certainty to the single that is indicative of a band that knows exactly what they want to sound like, and there is something admirable in that kind of confidence.

“Leviathan” is a hulking mass of post-rock tempered with the visceral aggression of post-hardcore and backed by the sweeping melody of alternative rock. Snarling guitar riffs backed by thundering bass riffs fade in-and-out in-between an ethereal dreamscape of intricate guitar work, delicate synth and vocals that transition between soothing post-rock styled vocals and the much grittier and aggressive vocals that are traditionally associated with the alternative side of the post-hardcore. Chris Brink, of Tweak, who handled the mixing and mastering of the single had this to say about the band and their song: “If Saosin, Jimmy Eat World and Hidden Hospitals had a three way this song would be their musical love child. The last time I was this pumped about a new South African act was the first time I heard a Newtown Knife Gang song back in 2008.”

There is a lot of truth to that statement. The vocals and some of the guitar work is very much reminiscent of Saosin in terms of their fluidity while the overreaching melody of the song seems to be drawn straight from the Bleed American era of Jimmy Eat World. This is a band that is going to put South African alternative music back onto the map.

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