by Scott Hefflon
Occasionally – just that rare and wonderful every so often – a major label tries to sell you something you didn’t even know you wanted. Leroy is one of those cases. Most singer-songwriters make me puke. They’re so in love with themselves and their “art,” I figure it lets me off the hook and leaves me free to loathe them with every bone in my body. And “everything but the kitchen sink” multi-instrumentalists usually strike me as music-school dweebs with no soul trying to sell anything to anyone, just trying to get a break at any cost. And don’t even get me started on L.A. white guys doing funk or slacker rap or whatever. G. Love is more than enough, and while I liked Block, few others seem to’ve and that’s their loss.
Leroy’s rich voice and funky stylings are very accessible, and have probably crept up on ya without yer even noticing it. “Good Time” is the theme song for Denis Leary’s new sitcom, The Job, “New World” appeared in Ten Things I Hate About You, “Trans Am” was in an episode of Felicity, and “Make it Hot” will appear in the movies Chain of Fools and Joy Ride. When ya get down to it, most of those are pretty good places to be!
Simply put, Leroy swipes from greats across the wide board: Lenny Kravitz, Hendrix, George Clinton, Elton John, Slash, and plenty of fun’n’cheesy stuff I can’t really peg. Funky ’70s wiggle, layered falsetto kinda like The Bee-Gees in one song (“Be My Lover,” and no, it’s not the Alice Cooper song, probably one of my faves by that fella), rich, Axl-vocaled drawl over an arm-waving new classic in another (“Good Time”), and ya know ya got theme song/anthemic/commercial rock that’ll perk yer ears like The Soprano’s “Woke Up this Morning, Got Yourself a Gun” or whatever it’s called. Not everything’s worthy, of course, and man, I sure hope he’s kidding when he closes with the Powerman 5000-rip/tip, “Make it Hot.” Its grooves and wicka-wickas are as infantile as anything by PM5K, so why parody what’s already a joke? Shit, gimme Bloodhound Gang’s “Yummy Down on This” for a fun roarcore swipe!