Levara – Levara (Mascot Records)
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this self-titled debut from three super cool cats.
A flurry of pre-release singles has ramped up the level of expectation.
And having a Lukather (guitarist Trev is Toto founder Steve’s son) in the band definitely helps.
Levara look and feel like the real deal.
The thing is, they sound even better.
Imagine Myles Kennedy fronting The Killers.
Add in some of the AOR sheen synonymous with the Lukather clan.
And top it all off with tunes. Big, shiny tunes.
At their most expansive Levara deliver arena-ready anthems destined to soundtrack the post-pandemic era.
But there’s more than enough substance to complement the style.
And the thinking man’s One Direction (drummer Josh Devine did a stint with the now defunct boy band) appear destined for greatness.
Levara levers mass appeal
If Train ever grew a pair then this is how they’d sound.
Commercially on trend, yet weighty enough to win over the dad rock doubters, Levara boast mass appeal.
At times there’s a factory feel to the band’s conveyor belt of brash stadium rock.
But listen carefully and Levara‘s best moments are more mindful than manufactured.
Frontman Jules Galli can’t escape the Kennedy comparison.
Why would he want to?
Aligning his tone to Alter Bridge’s ubiquitous singer can only help Levara’s quest for wider recognition.
Lukather, meanwhile, might have the name but he plays his own game.
Some of the fretwork here is simply sublime with the promise of so much more to come.
And as for Devine?
He probably made a packet driving OD’s chart-busting anthems but this bloke’s a rocker.
And he’s found his forever band.
Is one Lukather Ever Enough?
Lukather dazzles with a deliciously fierce solo on Ever Enough.
It’s just one example of why Levara aren’t your ordinary pop rock wannabes.
There are subtle layers beneath every song that set the talented trio apart from their chart-friendly peers.
And the LA-based band has landed on the perfect formula for making modern rock with a throwback attitude.
Allow is like a supercharged version of late 80s U2.
Haunting percussion and thought-provoking lyrics capture a foreboding mood.
Galli is superb and the song’s a keeper.
Ordinary is anything but.
It’s like a muscle-bound take on Johnny Hates Jazz and there’s another luscious Lukather solo to keep the musos on board.
Maybe this is where Andy Taylor saw Duran Duran heading prior to his mid 80s departure?
Maybe Levara are more pop than rock after all?
No One Above Levara?
Levara is an album for the ages.
And it’s a record that will appeal to all ages.
It’s polished but never over-produced. Pitch perfect but reassuringly authentic.
It doesn’t sound like your average debut but then Galli, Lukather and Devine aren’t three fresh-faced new kids on the block.
They’ve been around (and shared some of the biggest stages in the world with Toto in 2019) and mapped out a vision.
That vision has been spectacularly realised.
Levara’s blissful debut eases through the rock and roll gears with a maturity way beyond the band’s years.
And its 10 songs are the sound of a group that’s only just getting started.
It can’t be a coincidence that Lukather and co. wrap things up with No One Above You…
…because Levara are destined for the very top.