As one of the brightest upcoming stars in the Tokyo indie scene, this melodic guitar quartet have gone through several band names — De Nada, DYGL, and most recently Leather — in search of something simple but distinctive enough to satisfy them in their growing ambitions. Throughout all this, however, their music has remained outstanding, and this four song demo collection is the closest they have yet come to documenting it on tape.
That’s not to say there isn’t still a long way to go though, and the recording quality on Demo Tape #1 is very uneven, with the vocals mixed way too high on I’m Waiting for You and way too low on River, while the audio quality on Waves is all over the place. That said, it’s a demo, and lo-fi as it is, the quality in the songwriting comes across. Mixing aside, I’m Waiting for You is as stomping and anthemic a song as Japanese indie has ever produced, and Next Day is a spine tingling Strokes-soundalike (although knowing the band, Finnish indie rockers French Films are perhaps a more likely source of influence), while River is plaintive and really quite beautiful.
We can just hope that sooner rather than later the band will get themselves into a studio and make some proper recordings soon (or ideally that a label with lots of money will pay for them to do it) because they have a solid body of really great songs that deserve to emerge clean, clear and blinking in the sunlight. Still, the four tracks on Demo Tape #1 are a step in the right direction.