The Sick-Leaves - Stone The Crow

2008-09-09 17:48
Unusually for a new Seffrican album, it breaks the monopoly of influence held by indie groups a lá The Strokes and hard rock progenitors like Led Zep in favour of toying with the best traditions of Brit rock. The result is a clear space for The Sick-Leaves to jam rather than compete, to rock out rather than stand out.

Much like Zebra & Giraffe, The Sick-Leaves is the alter ego of a single musician, Eksteen Jacobsz. The nasal vocals, noise surfing guitar and bass – everything but the drums – are all his baby. Poured through the funnel of a singular musical talent, then, The Sick-Leaves' reward is a heavily structured sound, each layer stacked in harmony with the other.
Jacobsz, possibly the next local guitar hero, searches relentlessly for variation in his tight corner of rock 'n roll – and finds it, thanks to neat turns of compression & delay, harmonic playing and plain old solos. We have virtuosos already – thanks, Dan Patlansky – so the odd ginger-fro with a penchant for the texture of rock 'n roll, rather than its ferocity, is more than welcome.

Not that the intensity has been compromised – "Hustle Honey" is a noisy rock 'n roll rant with a Sonic Youth accent, just the kind of song to propose divorce to. The freer jams lean towards Kula Shaker and Jimmy Page and are perhaps a marker for one area – at least locally – where Jacobsz can't be touched. Unfortunately, his ventures into "catchy" territory with "Scotoma" and one or two others are much less successful.

There's only one Noel Gallagher – he's in Manchester, slagging off rappers. New poster boys for 90s rock are needed. We may have found one.

- Niel Bekker
Stone The Crow knows what it wants to be – alternative, licked with classic rock and grunge.

Conrad 2008/09/09 12:43 PM
Editor In my opinion, The Sick-Leaves is not only becoming one of South Africa's top acts, but Eksteen is also one of thé most talented people I had the pleasure in meeting... Keep up the good work buddy
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