Machines for Living
Read on for critical responses to Machines for Living:
... solid, no-nonsense, infectious power pop. Few do it better. Their ability to take the infectious and melodic heart that beats in pop music and the drive and energy that powers its rock and roll sibling is magical.
Fabulous in every way and a charming specimen of tried-and-true American indie rock
...one of America’s best power pop artists, regularly composing music that should be deemed classics
The lead single from this EP, "Alright Alright," completely blew me away... it's somewhere between late 60s Psychedelia and early REM, circa Murmur
The Persian Leaps doing what they do best and creating sunshine melodies with big impactful power pop riffs, soaraway choruses and delicious harmonies.
From its opening guitar jangle ["Maybe Time Will Let Me Forget"] set an instinctive swing in the body, its sixties breeding unmistakable but further lit up by the flirtatious catchiness and melodic energy of THE PERSIAN LEAPS.
Tight, melodious and utterly uplifting, and something to definitely be included on those playlists that you play in your car with all the windows down.
["Maybe Time Will Let Me Forget" is a] polished bit of power pop, specially built for fans of later Teenage Fanclub and the like. It employs that huge wall of ringing guitars, more sharper than distorted, building a wave of melody to meet up with the vocals.
"Alright Alright"... has that indie rock goes power pop sound that's reminiscent of Guided By Voices and Teenage Fanclub. It's catchy as hell but with far too much noise to be considered even remotely pop, even though it's also poppy as hell.
Call this stuff power pop if you like, call it “GBV meets Teenage Fanclub” if you must, but just listen.
Machines For Living... features sweetly melodic rock with a somewhat hard edge. The expert musicianship of Drew Forsberg is all over the catchy disc.
Imagine the power pop of Orange Juice and Teenage Fanclub. The urgency of Replacements without the super serrated rough edge of the first two albums.
Here we have a fun and catchy mix of power pop and college rock of the kind that would have found a comfortable place in early 90s CMJ charts...
[Machines for Living] is filled with sweet poprock. Some with a little sugarcoating, some with a punch or some bittersweet symphony, all instantly satisfying.
The Persian Leaps return with a fresh new EP, and they still impress with their solid songwriting
Machines For Living is a catalogue of shimmery strums and succinct sonics that oscillate smoothly on the rugged roads of alternative rock. It’s a relay of halcyon harmonies and impeccable vocals that fly the flawless flag of post-punk. It’s college music that’s graduated and stood the test of time, making it a familiar, nostalgic and enjoyable EP.
The reviews are in for Drone Etiquette!
[Drone Etiquette] is chock full of robust pop, college rock otherness, alternative cool, underground, future classics, (trust me I have a crystal ball) 80’s British indie label goodness, power-pop shimmer and more melody than you can shake a stick at. All woven together into a gorgeous set of songs.
[The Persian Leaps] ...has consistently just dropped power pop gem after power pop gem, year after year.
...we've been writing about The Persian Leaps ever since If It's Too Loud... first started, and each time they release new music it's killer. The St. Paul, Minnesota band's latest single, "When This Gets Out," fits right into their Guided By Voices inspired sound.
The Persian Leaps are your quintessential guitar-laden band, whose catchy and melodic riffs capture their angst, with an understated cool
The Persian Leaps have long been a go-to band for us when we hunger for power pop, jangle pop and fuzz.
[The Persian Leaps have] crafted a master class of music that weaves down the lane with images of days gone past. From the jangling guitar sound of the ’60s to the distortion of the post-punk bands of the ’90s. This album has it all.
...the band continues The Persian Leaps’ tradition of churning out power pop tunes that would have crowned any 90s college rock station. An eternal sound, just as powerful today.
"When This Gets Out"... is a prime infection loaded slice of the band’s pop rock
[Forsberg has an] ability to write truly engaging songs, songs that chime and shimmer in an alt-pop haze but which are built around brilliant melodics, great dynamic and no small amount of indie sheen meets rock grunt.
Glorious pop-rock songs that invite listening to seriously, allow dancing and singing along to and are great to listen to at a louder volume while cooking.
Big hooks, giant choruses and drums being beaten to death (in the best way possible).
[Drone Etiquette] is a wonderful release which combined Indie Rock and Power Pop in the ideal quantities to deliver smooth harmonies and almost sugary riffs.
The Persian Leaps resembles...v Teenage Fanclub, The Smiths or even R.E.M., and Forsberg’s song craft makes a similar impact that’s part modern indie-rock, and part nostalgic modern rock while flirting with punk, New Wave and pop in all the best ways.
Early responses to Smiling Lessons are enthusiastic!
This is captivatingly pleasurable blustery indie rock, bound to please lovers of jangle rock and, in particular, fans of Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads, The Smiths and the Medway bands.
It’s a short little blast of power-pop, crunching riffs and soaring vocals
Here’s what critics are saying about Electrical Living, our first full-length album of new material.
“[The Persian Leaps] have upped the ante on “Catnip For Cupid”, two-minutes of stupendous power-pop with loud guitar, drums, rich harmonies, and those unique lyrics which are a trademark of the outfit.”
[“Catnip for Cupid”] is irresistibly catchy power pop reminiscent of The New Pornographers or Matthew Sweet. With its distorted power chords and tight vocal harmonies, the song is sure to defeat any blues you may have.
Forsberg has a knack for writing big, punchy songs that jump out from the record at you (“Is it live or is it Memorex?”) with hooks all over the place.
…big riffs and even bigger harmonies… The Persian Leaps don’t hold anything back from us in Electric Living; if anything, they make a point to cross as many sonic thresholds as they can while retaining their trademark swagger.
…high-energy, multilayered rock n’ roll…
Electrical Living is a bright and gleaming star… The entire album just shimmers and rocks, it is a hit with no misses…
Electrical Living explodes onto the scene with a defined power-pop aesthetic that is impossible to ignore.
…one of the most exciting outfits in the current Twin Cities music scene, The Persian Leaps return with another batch of their guitar focused, powerful tunes
[Electrical Living is] a playlist designed to surround you with riffs and raw energy, poetic references, short rhymes and addictive hooks.
…strong and bold powerpop…
“Electrical Living is… full of brilliantly catchy, hook laden songs, which will stick in your mind on first listen.”
[Forsberg and Hunt created] the group’s first full length set of all original material with the wild, jangly, rumbling super harmonic and, yep, totally electrifying, Electrical Living.
Electrical Living is excellent, awash in lustrous shimmering colors conveyed on infectious rhythms and burnished vocal textures.
…guitar driven songs that put the hooks first. The songs toss aside any unnecessary nostalgia or navel gazing to provide you sing-along worthy songs… This is a great power pop album.>.
…powerhouse pop-rock vibe…
Pop That Goes Crunch
Praise for Pop That Goes Crunch, our 18-song anthology.
…pronounced sweet-shop melodies and bopping beats emerge from… post-punk guitar buzzing, so all 18 tracks [on Pop That Goes Crunch] could’ve been a single…
At times blistering and raw, and polished at others, the album captures the full spectrum of The Persian Leaps. From the opening song of “See Me Unaware” – a harmonic and catchy garage rocker, to the triumphant, Teenage Fanclub-esque grooving or the album closer “Sleepless”, we get a portrait of a band capable of writing incredibly palatable power pop songs. Unfortunately, there aren’t many bands around these days who take such a straightforward approach to songcraft
Maybe this is what the Top 40s sound like in a parallel universe where amps and power chords reign supreme?
Some of our favorite reviews of Bicycle Face:
…Forsberg’s melodic primacy and the group’s dynamics make them stand out from the quadrillions. It might take an LP to make multitudes heed, but the Persian Leaps are dependably terrific.
Think powerful guitars with plenty of jangle and buzz, and arrangements with hooks thoughtfully packed in like the chocolate chips in your favorite overloaded gourmet cookies.
[On] “Picture My Reaction” you’ll swear that you just unearthed an old GBV demo that never got done but should have been released. It’s a great tune …
True to form [The Persian Leaps] embrace the sounds of 80s and 90s jangly college rock like Hoodoo Gurus and The Posies with the menacing guitar sound of The Smithereens. The result is a perfect power pop cocktail.
…classic guitar pop, with chords ringing as they wrap around one another to create an audible warmth. There’s an earnestness in the vocal delivery that I find quite appealing…
[The Persian Leaps] do not mince when it comes to music—they write concise, jangly songs that channel the aesthetic of late 1980s and early 1990s post-punk, power pop, and alternative rock, and they don’t mess around while doing it.
[Bicycle Face] contains five high energy rocking songs that will help get the cobwebs from between your ears as they deliver their well-written lyrics in a perfect indie rock/power pop package. Their previous releases have received critical acclaim, and their latest one will surely earn more of the same.
The Persian Leaps’ 5th EP boasts not only the loud riffs, but a lot more hooks than their previous work.
Your City, Underwater
Thanks for all the good reviews for Your City, Underwater!
“See Me Unaware”… favors the Leaps’ full, satisfying guitar work, but all of the elements are in top form here, making for a charmingly pleasant three minutes of breezy indie rock.
[“See Me Unaware” is an] unassuming & infectious rocking & rolling power pop anthem
…truncated treatises in big-guitar post-punk power-pop… [The Persian Leaps have] got the goods again in spades.
Think about huge riffs echoing through your speakers, melodious vocals and the sort of pop sensibility we’ve come to expect from bands like Nada Surf.
This Twin Cities outfit is another in a long lineage of straightforward rock & roll. With an additional layer of harmonic power pop spread over the top, The Persian Leaps have neatly distinguished themselves from their hometown heroes.
[T]he Persian Leaps’ power pop will remind you of the more muscular sounds of Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices and Matthew Sweet, but also the ironic vocal style of ’80s and ’90s post-punk bands.
There is a full on indie rock, feel to ‘See Me Unaware.’ Not surprising with a classic power trio delivering the goods. …[F]ine vocals and harmonies… equally deliver the melody, along with a tight rocking feel.
…St. Paul’s finest fuzzed out, power-pop bliss.
High & Vibrate
Check out the kind words for High & Vibrate!
On “The Infection” and prime “Dottie, Queen of the West,” singer/guitarist/leader Drew Forsberg summons Grant Hart’s catchiest pop smarts while beckoning a Bob Mould barrage of tempered white noise guitar. The group’s power-pop flair is their own edifice… allowing the threesome to straddle genres and sidestep rote classification. Big-time hooks, upbeat attitude, classic power-trio punch…
“Dottie, Queen Of The West”… is defined by its colorful and lively wall of guitar as well as its candid vocal performance. There’s a hint of British pop in the band’s sound, a little Smiths in the nuance of the guitar and Blur in the catchiness of its melodies.
[The Persian Leaps deliver] the goldest goodness of pure glimmering guitar based pop that follows up Drive Drive Delay and Praise Elephants with a sound to fall in love with, and/or fall in love to.
The Persian Leaps’ jangly noise-pop takes the Smiths and the Minneapolis indie-pop sound and has them shake hands. It’s completely driven by guitar this time around, on their third release High & Vibrate…
The Persian Leaps [capture]… noise pop texture beautifully… [and give it a] Smiths-like tight composition for instant pop pleasure.
[The Persian Leaps] brings us a wall of heavy fuzz guitar riffs on “The Infection” and the big standout here “Dottie. Queen of The West.” The tempo and approach remind me of Echo & The Bunnymen or The Smiths.
…“[O]ld school” songs–direct, shiny and infectious–armed with a ton of guitars and a [ton] of instant melodies and vocal harmonies.
Infectious guitar driven rock, beautiful harmonies, guaranteed to make you smile as you sing along!
…guitar driven power pop and ‘90s alternative rock, with all the hooks and harmonies you could hope for and a rhythm section on steroids… [T]his is a band that just keeps getting sharper.
The Persian Leaps are back with “Dottie, Queen of the West,” and this one is an all-out rocker. Drenched in ‘90s indie rock aesthetic… [and] rounded out with some of the best vocal harmonizing to be heard on any indie rock record in 2015, it’s safe to say that the Persian Leaps have found their perfect recipe for success.
The Persian Leaps are back with their third EP in as many years. High & Vibrate keeps in line with their jangly, fuzzed out guitar pop reminiscent of mid-90s power pop bands, but they’re showing a heavy 60s influence with solid, catchy hooks… It’s guitar pop in its best form.
Energised indie rock… guitars and harmonies reign supreme.
…[P]unky, driving rhythms, and a little dream pop for good measure… The Persian Leaps successfully power through this charming and catchy set of five new tracks.
A refreshing dose of guitar driven “left of the dial” style underground 80s rock
[High and Vibrate is] an excellent EP, a solid block of guitar driven indie-rock.
Drive Drive Delay
We’ve gotten some great reviews for our EP, Drive Drive Delay. Here are the highlights; follow the links for more details:
Too indie rock to be punk, too blasting to be noise-pop, this Twin Cities trio… solder it all together into a happy-sounding, full-on mélange, bolstering their sanguine sugar-pop melodies and harmonies.
Guitar pop. Minneapolis influences. Major-key. Pop melodies and noisy guitars. …[T]hey’ve hit on the exact, perfect formula that elevates guitar pop from just “ho hum, another one of these” to “holy crap, I love this.”
St. Paul noise-pop trio the Persian Leaps have a guitar-driven new EP, Drive Drive Delay, a catchy and crisp follow-up to 2013’s Praise Elephants. The brisk new tunes are reminiscent of the restless barroom charms of Guided By Voices. [The Persian Leaps have] blossomed into a band poised to give the Twin Cities music scene a jolt of melodic rock energy.
Plenty of nifty guitars, even more nifty fuzz, and plenty of indie pop catchiness to boot.
[Y]ou’ve heard of dream pop but this one goes under dream rock for sure.
[The Persian Leaps continue] their GBV-inspired power pop with the pyromaniac anthem “Fire Starter”… “Pretty Boy” has some Bob Mould like fuzz guitar with an inspired call and response chorus.
The Persian Leaps is a self-described ‘noise pop’ band… that sprinkles its melodic pop exercises with well-placed fuzz guitar sounds and, well, noise. The result is a wonderful five-song EP drenched in late-80s and early-90s indie-rock stylings. That does not make it retro. It makes it compelling… Drive, Drive, Delay is one of the best guitar records I have heard in quite some time.
[I]nstantly catchy melodic harmonies layered on top of droning guitars… If you are looking for lyrical, smart rock, you may have just found your new band. The record deserves a broad audience.
The Persian Leaps’ new EP Drive Drive Delay makes a big impression in a short amount of time. In five tracks lasting a square 15 minutes, this EP is brimming with guitar fuzz and power-pop melodies. If brevity is the key to wit, it also seems to be the key to pop melodies as well.
Drive Drive Delay… is freaking awesome! …[T]he entire thing is pure fuzzy pop greatness… [T]he best EP I’ve heard this year.
Overflowing with chunky riffs, ringing chords and sweet hooks, Drive Drive Delay from The Persian Leaps delivers a delicious winter stew of power pop, college rock and shoegaze… If you like loud, muscular power pop bound together with a bit of sweetness, this is as good as it gets.
“Pretty Boy” has every element working in its favor to get stuck in your head. …without a doubt, there are powerpop-esque harmonies and fuzzy guitar hooks to keep your attention throughout the 5-song EP.
Drive Drive Delay is a controlled fuzzy chaos and a worthy listen for anybody wondering where all the feelgood guitar pop went.
“Pretty Boy” surprises with its delicacy and smoothness.
As melodic indie rock goes, ‘Pretty Boy’ is up there with the best of them. At just over two minutes long it’s a superbly executed slice of noise-pop that sets itself up, sprays hooks all over the place, and leaves you wanting more of the same.
[T]he music on Drive Drive Delay has an infectious energy from the off…This is a pretty addictive indie-pop EP that really ought to get some serious attention…
“Pretty Boy"… [is] a nice little fuzz-guitar driven pop tune that ticks all the boxes for sumptuous indie-pop yummyness.
Lead single “Pretty Boy”, with its early REM feel, is a dead ringer for heavy rotation on alternative late night radio.
If you dig on the cleverness of Guided By Voices or maybe the vibe of REM before the big boys got to them, here is a band from Saint Paul, Minnesota that takes all of that and more into this century.
These are musicians who have style and skill in droves, and although their inspirations are obvious, they have enough energy and intelligence to craft a space that is entirely their own.
If you’re looking for a replacement for the recently split Guided By Voices or just want some good ol’ Noise Pop, this is your new band. Drive Drive Delay is an EP that executes a well-worked, pop-rock formula exceptionally well and leaves you feeling like The Persian Leaps may be the new classic
The Persian Leaps take power pop and a penchant for 90s alternative rock, creating a nostalgic yet fresh blend that refreshes… By using both a nostalgic sound and up-tempo, hook-driven songwriting, The Persian Leaps have found a way to musically bridge the carefree fun of summer and the longing of autumn.
“Fire Starter"… brings a strong opening to the EP with a blistering solo and ripping guitar. “Pretty Boy” follows the opening song and manages to trump it purely because of how catchy it is.
Drive Drive Delay is an excellent disc of well-crafted, catchy rock and roll.
The Persian Leaps have evolved a more mature, edgier sound that has jangly guitar riffs but with a great distorted tone, backed by solid rhythm and great harmonies which give great drive and momentum. This is masterfully controlled, like you’re propelled along about to be launched off a cliff but then pulled back just in time.
Drive Drive Delay… is kind of a mirror image of The Persian Leaps’ critically acclaimed 2013 debut Praise Elephants. [It] incorporates clever lyrics, power pop, and hard rock within consistently melodic arrangements. And like Praise Elephants, this latest effort from The Persian Leaps is flawless.
The Persian Leaps… have crafted a nostalgic driven, cool-oozing and delightful EP that shows that the indie rock with Noise Pop fusion is still something that can be exciting and impressive.
With heavenly interlocking harmonies, a crunchy guitar driven sound and some solid song writing, the band has what it takes to make some waves…
Full of crunchy guitar riffs that sometimes recall XTC with a hint of the shoegazerness of My Bloody Valentine with just a touch of Guided By Voices, Drive Drive Delay is full of indie pop gooiness. These songs all have a habit of lodging somewhere in your cranium and the EP gets better and better the more that you replay it.
[The Persian Leaps create] a sparkling clang of noise pop with indie breeding and a raw slither of punk…
With churning, catchy guitar riffs and an atmosphere of sweetness… it’s clear as day to see that The Persian Leaps are soon to engulf themselves in the heart of the mainstream.
…incredibly catchy and mature beyond a band with just 2 eps to its name.
The Persian Leaps are back with Drive Drive Delay, an EP that is packed with instantly catchy melodic harmonies layered on top of driving guitars, creating a really compelling record.
I enthusiastically suggest you to go listen their stunning songs, old-school noise-pop, where Sugar meets my dear Teenage Fanclub, full of infectious hooks, chiming guitar lines, shimmering vocal harmonies and pumped out melodies.
We’ve gotten very positive responses to our debut EP, Praise Elephants, from blogs in the US, UK, Australia and beyond. Here are the highlights. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to listen and write!
They may hail from St Paul in Minnesota, but The Persian Leaps sound like they’ve heard more than a few of the great British indie records of the ’80s and ’90s. The silky fuzz and solid hooks of tracks like “Sleepless” echo The Smiths, Orange Juice and Teenage Fanclub with great enthusiasm, and they never fail to recreate that celestial guitar jangle.
The Persian Leaps knock out incredibly catchy hooks, bright melodies and sing-a-long choruses
The Persian Leaps are an alternative rock foursome from Saint Paul, MN that mix fuzzed out guitar riffs with catchy vocals that sound like Big Star clashing with Sugar.
Notable here is the power pop single “Silent Treatment” full of fuzzy guitar riffs and solid harmonies. “Exponentially Devoted” is another good song with a layer of jangle above the dense fuzz pop. The band plays short, catchy songs coated along the same lines as Guided By Voices, Teenage Fanclub and My Bloody Valentine.
[W]e think if we could play the guitar we would want to play it just like they do on [the] brilliant track “Silent Treatment”
On Praise Elephants, The Persian Leaps embody a sound that’s both old and new, but impressive either way. The band’s sharp knack for melody, plus firm grasp on all things indie rock past, just won’t quit from start to finish.
“[Silent Treatment]” is a wonderful burst of pure distorted guitar music with all kinds of fuzzy riffs strung out while guitar leads do their business all over the airwaves and the vocals bring forth more poppiness to the already accessible sound.
The Persian Leaps … [feature] a college rock sound that tightens up the slack of greats like Guided By Voices and Teenage Fanclub, with a little bit of that romantic Replacements thrown in there as well… The brilliant shoegaze of ‘Sleepless’… sounds like a lost work of Kevin Shields if he went through an R.E.M phase (it’s really fucking good).
The Persian Leaps are the shoegazers who finally summoned up the courage to actually look you in the eye and ask you to the dance.
“Silent Treatment” is the standout track on this collection with its off-kilter arrangements, indie anthem melody and thumping, Glasvegas drums… The Minnesotan… combo clearly have a penchant for matching noise with melodies and I can only propose that this would make their live shows an awful lot of fun.
Hard Feelings… [is]… noisy without being shoe gazer, unashamedly indie without being twee of fey, but it has a strong enough melody to make you sit up and take notice. There’s enough chiming and movement in the guitar to certainly remind you of (The House of Love’s) Terry Bickers though.
[The Persian Leaps] have that classic sound that feels like one of those old nostalgic jukebox songs that you always play when you have friends around. The track “Hard Feelings” really hit me hard because there is a The Smiths-esque [feel] to it with a little bit more rocking vibe to it.
A noise-pop band with a shoegaze vibe, the five-track EP is full of noisy guitars, vocal harmonies and catchy hooks reminiscent of The Smiths, Sugar, Teenage Fanclub and My Bloody Valentine.
The Persian Leaps take you back to the old school 80s and 90s sounding rock… Praise Elephants brings muffled riffs and amazing harmonies to each track… Amazing album, with an amazing cover.
[Praise Elephants is] five songs of fuzzy, heartfelt rock with its roots in predecessors such as The Afghan Whigs or The Sheila Divine. “Silent Treatment” is by far my favorite. With its gang vocals saved for verses and not the chorus, it has a unique sound while being familiar…
“Sleepless”… [is] a cascading rock beauty that’s got firm roots in those timeless classics your folks played on their record players in your youth…
For the last couple of months I’ve been listening to a lot of shoegaze/fuzzed out rock n roll music. Putting on Praise Elephants was like switching from AM to FM radio. Where most of the bands I’ve been listening to lately list atmospherics over melody, The Persian Leaps go the opposite way. At their core, the songs of Praise Elephants are good, old-fashioned power-pop.
…The silky sheen of “Sleepless” marries “noise” and “pop”… The shimmery distortion of… Ride is met by the phenomenal force of Blue Oyster Cult”s timeless track “Don”t Fear The Reaper” in “Sleepless”, and the pure depth of melody in this magnificent track easily quashes any notion of a simple, generic pidgeon-hole.
“Sleepless” is a single taken from their EP ‘Praise Elephants’, and it’s undiluted guitar-pop magic. Songs like this don’t come with a date stamp: it may be new, but it could have been released at the same time as… [a]… Ride song. You can expect guitars that freely weave their way through the song with an early indie jangle, you can expect melodies that are made of Super Glue and will stick with you for a long time, you can also expect heavy use of the repeat button.
[The Persian Leaps]… mesh a kind of angular power-pop that sounds sucked straight from 1981 England with some phenomenal stacked harmonies.
Silent Treatment”… [is] damn catchy and after hearing it just once, it’ll burrow into your subconscious and take root, its melody coming back to you when you least expect it.
Praise Elephants is loaded with jangling guitar hooks; noise pop with a flourish that has college rock radio written all over it… This is an EP that should be in heavy rotation at independent record stores.
“Sleepless” has this sort of skyward looking Stone Roses riffs to open, but when it opens out into the song, its has this melody that crawls all over you, and stays there with you, noise and feedback and shoegazey buzzy guitars and all.
The Persian Leaps have a penchant for creating catchy noise pop tunes.
Guitars can be crass, they can be loud, annoying and angry. But pair them with a smooth vocalist and a guitarist with an inherent gift for melody and the results can be quite the opposite. Praise Elephants IS loud, and there is crassness, yet the mix is so well blended that this almost MBV noise breaks through. The result? Delight for all comers.
“Silent Treatment” is full of catchy hooks, a driving back-beat, and powerpop-inspired melodies. It makes you want to get up and move around the room almost instantly.