Imperial Leisure’s latest album Lifestyle Brand

Posted on 19 March 2015
By Lewis Ridley
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Originally from London, Imperial Leisure rose in the early 2000s, gaining a reputation for high-intensity, alcohol-tinged, good-time carnage. Since then the band have been going full throttle, smashing the festival and gig circuit for over a decade and now they gear up for the release of their third studio album Lifestyle Brand.

They have matched their live performances in the studio too, with two fine self-released albums under their belts, but Dboy of the band has said, “Funniest times are always tour times. We’re harmless really; we just know how to enjoy ourselves!”

Their third album is out on the 6th April; they’ve been hard at work on what promises to be a show-stomping, high-energy, vibed-up display of musicianship and spontaneity. Recorded at Middle Farm with producers Peter Miles and James Bragg (who have worked with the likes of The Skints and The King Blues) it is highly recommended.

All in all, 2014 proved to be a great launching pad for the new record: over 20 festival appearances featuring debut slots at Mighty Sounds, Rebellion, Wickerman and Guilfest; taking the stage at KOKO in support to Ska/Punk veterans King Prawn was also a highlight. 2015 is going to be everything 2014 was – except a whole lot bigger and no doubt messier!

The album itself continues the high-intensity stomping sound they’re so recognised as to producing.
“Victory Cycle” sets the record of as it means to go on. It is symbolic of a rebellious return, a youthful energy that resembles Imperial Leisure. The title of the track alone announces success, a confidence that provides such a glowing energy from them.

From there it’s a full-on assault, with “Lucky People” and “Animal” abiding to their sound whilst being subtly separated and standing on their own two feet as individual tracks. “Three Women One Night” and “Nasty Boy” also couple up, expressing the ‘boys will be boys’ motto that has seemed to surround Imperial Leisure. The latter is a powerful and again incredibly energetic song that is quick to start and ends suddenly for a bit of respite before more with “Splendid Marvellous”, although it does have periods of calm which we can imagine are included to get your breath back.

“Razzle Dazzle” is as catchy as you’d imagine, and “Festival” writes itself on the set list for exactly that purpose – a song that sounds like sunshine, or whatever we’re lucky enough to get. In contrast, the certainty of such sunshine ‘down in Mexico’ and the spirit of such is clear in “Isle of Slice”, track 9.
The juxtaposing “Machine vs Monster” is an aggressive tenth track which after a minute and a half winds up to a Rage Against The Machine heavy rock, it lasts seconds though and we return to the trumpets before another swift end.

The letter E in “The Big E” must stand for electronic, as we finally hear something a bit different on this instrumental penultimate track. Gorrilaz meet The Specials and it would be a nice way to wrap up, but they have other ideas and the final track “Creepers” wraps round a heavy beat with the longest riffs on the album to finish the album in majestic style, the repetition of “Curtain Call” just feels like an on-stage bow, but after 12 tracks you’re either out of energy to applaud or you took a break halfway through and are ready for more!