Sunday, February 12, 2023

Adult Leisure: Bristol’s Finest

Bristol has produced many great artists and bands over the years. But none of them like Adult Leisure.

Formed over lockdown via a series of video calls and made up of vocalist Neil Scott, guitarist Dave Woolford, bassist James Laing and drummer Nathan Searle, (who are all Bristol music scene heavy-weights in their own right) theirs is a band that reignites the 80’s gothic/alternative rock of The Smiths and The Cure and gives it a fresh, modern feel.

The nexus of this is their new Ep ‘The Weekend Ritual’. It showcases a band built for the big time, from the grimy sound of ‘I Don’t Want to Talk Anymore,’ which channels Frank Cartier and the Rattlesnakes, to the full-on ride of ‘Things You Don’t Know Yet’ that sounds straight from The Cure’s 1992 smash hit album ‘Wish’ complete with bouncing Guitar and bass thumping drums. And sure, opener ‘Happyness’ isn’t at the strength of the other tracks, feeling more like it’s weighing into a more commercial, heavier side of the group's sound, but it's one miss-step on an EP of hits. But finally, by far the standout track is ‘Control,’ a cross between the stadium-ready, all-or-nothing sincerity of Kings of Leon with the casual darkness of The Smiths.

In the band’s own words, 'Control’ focuses around an immeasurable love to which it’s clear the object of affection isn’t the wisest choice, yet still the lover is drawn ever closer, due to the overwhelming presence the recipient of their adoration has within their life.” As for its sound well it's nothing short of indie heaven, with the opening chugging into life like a Johnny Marr riff, Dave Woolford’s lightly-chorused guitar jangling over Nathan Searle’s driving drums. This deceptively builds to a chorus with so much drive, energy and emotion that it is an explosion of drama, its all-out drums thrashing through the texture, James Laing’s bass kicking into overdrive and Neil Scott absolutely tearing it up as he baits his lover to “show me how you like to control me/tell me that your happy/living on your own.” It's intense, crushingly honest and razor-sharp stuff. 

And if you're wondering if they still deliver the same energy live then the answer is a resounding “yes!” Even in their relatively short time together, the band has already made waves, with sold-out gigs across their hometown and beyond almost right out of the gate. In short and without a doubt, Adult Leisure is the band to watch in 2023. 

‘Weekend Rituals’ is out now on all good streaming platforms and the band are playing a number of live shows across February and March, including some in support of Independent Venues Month.

Ed Ward


Image: ‘The Weekend Ritual’ Official EP Cover

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