By Various Artists
"Everything Is Brilliant In Leeds" reads the t-shirt slogan of a certain bunch of Loiners currently dominating the nations airwaves. And on the showing of this latest release, who's to argue. After years in the doldrums, Leeds finally has what it has desired, deserved and demanded; a vibrant and happening cutting edge music scene, crammed to the rafters with shit hot bands. Having played second fiddle to Manchester, Liverpool etc Leeds is now 100 per cent on the map. The Chiefs are set to conquer the universe over the next 12 months, Duels are getting notice in all the right places and even Embrace have got their shit together. And now we get an awesome double a-side from two bands made of of local Leeds guys and gals soon to tug at your heartstrings and empty your bank accounts.
ˇForward, Russia!, despite having the most difficult to type band name since S*M*A*S*H (remember them, me neither), are Yorkshire's equivalent of At The Drive-in. A white noise sonic experiment in beautiful mayhem, they take early Sonic Youth, mix it up with a bit of Joy Division and add a dash of The Fall for good measure. Their track "nine" sounds like about three different songs all sellotaped together haphazardly and put to vinyl, and it sounds great. Yelping vocals, screwball lead guitars and bouncing beats make them perhaps the most "off the wall" and intriguing of the current crop of Leeds champions.
This Et All are simply incredible. Like Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, The Clash and The Smiths they are a straight ahead rock and roll band with all the right things in all the right places. Ethereal guitars, awesome lyrics and a heart breaking instrumental coda make his an unforgettable three minutes that this reviewer has carried in his head since hitting play.
So, here we have two new jewels to the Leeds crown. There's something in the air at the moment in Yorkshire... and it sounds great.