The debut album from Left Field Messiah is a glorious throwback to the 70’s psychedelic era of music, and the band are on the right track for making a bold opening statement. LFM is comprised of Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat), Jeremy Ruzumna (Fitz & The Tantrums) and Erik Janson (formerly of Wildling), and In Praise of Bombast blends each of their unique musical backgrounds into an interesting sound that is difficult to pin down to one genre. We recently premiered their last single for “Fuzz Machine,” that features some mind-bending visuals that provide the background to the soundtrack of their eclectic music that never follows the traditional norms of what rock music is supposed to be. In fact, Left Field Messiah are comfortable with stretching the imagination of their listeners as they take every opportunity to paint with vivid colors in their first major artistic statement.
The first single the band released for In Praise of Bombast is arguably their most accessible track in “AM Moonlight.” It features some breathy vocals from Bays over a spiraling guitar riff from Ruzumna that casually clicks along with steady ease. It’s one of the more straight-forward rock songs LFM have composed on this record, and made for an easy choice of a pleasing opening single.
”Are You Ready” is the first track in the LP’s sequencing and is reminiscent of Tame Impala with plenty of 70’s rock flair for good measure. It makes for a nice opening song to cautiously guide the listener through the rest of the madness that ensues. “Fuzz Machine” follows the song with a curious arrangement filled with unique sounds, tribal beats, and near-shouted vocals from Bays. This song is one of the harder ones to find a comparative style to, and it speaks to the unique style of Left Field Messiah’s ability to break down the borders of what rock music can be.
”Feels Like Summer” is a trippy blast of psychedelic rock music that tows the line between being a summer jam and a Beatles’-esque ode to “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” The heavy synths throughout the song allow for the dreamy track to chug along steadily without losing interest in the material. The saxophone in the middle of the song helps it soar to new heights and introduces some jazz elements into LFM’s repertoire.
”Classic Feeling” is a song about searching for that moment in time that makes us feel most at home, while other songs like “Young Libertine” expand upon the acid-dripped rock and roll introduced early on to help Left Field Messiah paint with broad strokes in their first studio album. “Pink Flamingos” features some great guitar work from Ruzumna, but the song never really goes anywhere that the band hasn’t explored before, and it unfortunately ends up being a forgettable track tacked on to the end of the record.
Luckily, Left Field Messiah recovers nicely on album closer “Golden Love,” that shows what their band is capable of creating when all of their members are in tune to each others’ musical strengths. The funk-infused song allows for Bays to put his unique stamp on the track that showcases the potential shown on this debut album. Overall, LFM are at their best when they are able to hone in on their rich musical influences from the past and re-package their sound in a modern way. “Are You Ready,” “AM Moonlight, ” and “Classic Feeling” should be the songs that Left Field Messiah will look back mostly proudly upon as they continue to explore the limitless possibilities of what their band could do next.