Ladies & germs, what we have here is the highly anticipated new album by Beware of Safety, Leaves/Scars! 7 songs clocking in at a little over 50 minutes, running the gamut of rock experimentation. The CD version comes in a deluxe 6 panel digipak printed on thick, recycled stock. The uber-deluxe 2xLP version comes on either white vinyl w/black streaks (limited to 100 copies) or brown vinyl (limited to 300 copies). The 18pt SBS stock CMYK gatefold jackets have a semi-gloss finish and could put an eye out. Get on down junior, you need this new toy - aight?!?!?!
"Some bands like to play it safe. They find something that works for them, get comfortable with it, and then continue to fine tune that method with each subsequent project, often to critical acclaim and a delighted fan base. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this method and it often yields classic albums and songs. But then there's an entirely different breed of band. The type of band that couldn't care less about critical approval. The type of band that writes music to challenge themselves and get it out of their collective souls because they have to. And the high risk, high reward brand of music this type of band creates can often become the catalyst for other people picking up instruments and learning how to play them. There's a reckless abandon, an unwavering confidence, a "press-record-and-see-what-we-do" swagger that is inspirational and moving. On Leaves/Scars, the third album by the instrumental rock band Beware of Safety, we can hear them becoming one of the latter bands: taking high risks and bearing astonishingly high rewards.
After touring on dogs in 2009, the band decided to begin writing the next record and for the first time in the band's six year history, the album was to be written completely from scratch. In addition to going into the new album with no previously conceived material, the band would also be writing as a five piece for the first time. (Tad had joined the band on bass after dogs' release in January, 2009.) So in what could be considered an "album of firsts" for the band, they also (for the first time) had an opportunity to write an entire record from start to finish with each member's input on each song. The diversity on display within the tracks on Leaves/Scars exemplifies the influence that this new writing process ultimately had on the final compositions. The range of sonic scope on display is mesmerizing. From the aggressive stomping and shrieking of the opening track, "Meridian", to the building and climaxing crescendo of "Kevin Spacey", to the slowly churning and growing "Lowercase West"; to the smooth jazz turned math metal cruncher that is "Crooked Nails for Catching Skin"; and on into the beautiful, triumphant, shimmering number "Moorpark Ends"; to the introspective and bittersweet "Small Victories"; and finally the utterly epic 11-minute closer "Memorial Day" which somehow encapsulates the entire gamut of the album's emotional spectrum and gives it one final, massive shot in the arm.
The immediate moments spent in the aftermath of Leaves/Scars are deafeningly quiet; a true indicator of the intimate listening experience of which you've just been a part. Some of this can be attributed to how the music was brought to life, as the band also approached the recording, mixing, and mastering of the album from a new perspective this time around. As Leaves/Scars crashes out of the gate, the immediacy of the new approach and the recording itself are instantly noticeable. Light on punch-ins and rejecting any over-finessing, the album has a strong, gritty, "in-your-face" sound that helps to separate itself even further from anything else in the band's discography. Recorded by Jeff Lewis at The Compound Studio (Marc Ford, Dusty Rhodes & the River Band), mixed by Patrick Murphy, and mastered at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA by Evren Goknar (30 Seconds To Mars, Megadeth, Iggy Pop), it also marks the first time the band worked with three different people in three different locations to produce a record. Leaving their comfort zones in every aspect to make this album - from the initial writing methods, to the recording, mixing, and mastering process - Beware of Safety set out to challenge themselves and discover who they are as a band. This is an honest record, full of feeling, passion, and soul... From the heart."