Mike Lefton – What Are We Waiting For (Independent)
There are no shortages of webpages dedicated to New Jersey singer-songwriter Mike Lefton, but they’re remarkably short on biographical information. From what I can piece together, he’s something of an all-rounder, insofar as he acts as well as makes music, and “What Are We Waiting For”, a five track EP, looks to be his debut solo release. Of course, there maybe other recordings on which he’s featured; he’s played guitar in various groups, including Rosedale, VAM and The Ruggs, but I can offer no definite information.
Not a great start, I know, but it does help concentrate the mind on the music, which, naturally, is why we’re here. Lefton begins the collection with “Invalid”, a perfectly executed slab of snotty ‘60s-style garageland R&B. Proto-hard-rock guitars and a lyric chockablock with rightful indignation, the sort of thing which would have collectors jumping ‘round in glee if they’d discovered it on a battered 7” in an old backstreet record store bargain bin. Surely one of the joys of the digital age is that there’s no need to spend a lifetime hunting these tracks down – they’re just a click away.
“Waiting For My Woman” displays a lighter touch and together with the title track, brings Lefton into line with other contemporary singer-songwriters. Think along the lines of Damien Rice and John Legend, but with considerably more gumption. “Black Stone Road” is probably my favourite. Built on wah-wah shaped guitars, Lefton combines significant pop nous with ‘70s classic rock, with exceptional results.