World Leader Pretend – Punches
By R. Sterling
This major label debut from New Orleans band World Leader Pretend is a mixed bag. The overall feel is grandiose and overwrought, not bad things in my book, but the set suffers from a lack of coherence or focus.
Tubercular singer and main man Keith Ferguson is able to channel Ian McCullough, Richard Ashcroft or Neil Diamond, seemingly at will, and on the good songs, such as the spectacular opener “Bang Theory”, this is oddly effective.
Diamond is clearly a strong influence on songs such as “Dreamdaddy”, “Punches” and “Tit for Tat”. The album’s main fault is the amount of filler (“The Masses”, “B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M.”, “A Grammarian Stuck in a Medical Drama”). Check out the first three tracks (especially “Bang Theory) plus “Tit for Tat” to get a good feel of this record. – (5/10)