Nightmares is a bit of a misnomer. Leo’s recently released CD starts off with a short intro track that sounds promisingly creepy and dark, but the sound quickly morphs into muddled rock/pop. Some of the guitar work reminded me initially of Godsmack but with vocals more reminiscent of Incubus, the overall balance was wobbly.
Little range of emotion is detectable in Ian Eddy’s lead vocals for the first half of the album, though things improve toward the end. The tracks seem to have two speeds — slow verses with generally incomprehensible lyrics contrasted with jarring radio-ready choruses. The singing started to remind me of David Usher’s crooning back in the days of Moist, and the growing intensity of Eddy’s voice makes the album worth finishing, at least. The album progresses from a lackluster initial five or six tracks, gaining some energy by “Chemical Cell” and “Nightmares”, two of the final tracks.
The abrupt endings of most of the tracks, and the violent shifting between verse and chorus, with added heavy guitar work marking the start of each chorus, make it seem that this album was not seriously worked over. Leo comes across as more genuine in that sense than a lot of current pop/rock acts, even though the lyrics are disappointingly vague. Directed loosely toward some hazy ex-lover, it wasn’t until track nine, “Mourning”, that more emotional depth was exposed. Judging from the growing confidence and complexity of both the vocals and the instrumentation, despite the slow start, Leo has potential.
By Lara Killian