It’s a fair assessment to regard Randolph’s Leap as stalwarts of Scottish independent music and “Cowardly Deeds”, released on Olive Grove Records, is an album that shows all the signs of musical maturity that cynics like myself have been expecting from this band.
Not that Randolph’s Leap have entirely distanced themselves from their playful past as festival friendliness is still to be found in the upbeat “Goodbye” and the relentlessly cheerful, smarter than it sounds, “Like A Human”. The fragile voice of Adam Ross is ever present but with a musical powerhouse behind him, including a horn section, he is pushed towards the front of the stage where he belongs.
The lyrical eloquence expected of this band is still there, of course, yet there is more focus this time. There are, fortunately, no more songs about crisps and the thesaurus friendly rhymes are mixed this time with the kind of wry humour that will please those with higher than average intellectual pretensions. Consequently, a serious song could be expected and “Under The Sun” does not disappoint with its very literacy matching its metaphorical reach. Bonus points are also awarded for the skilled use of sentimentality with “Aberdeen” adding a perfect summer sunset to the greyest city in the country.
So, is this album chicken curry fried rice or a gourmet meal? “Cowardly Deeds” is a gourmet musical meal. Make no mistake about it. Enjoy!