All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Review: Leopold And His Fiction - Ain't No Surprise

Leopold And His Fiction – Ain’t No Surprise
2008, Native Fiction Records

San Francisco band Leopold And His Fiction brings a plains sensibility to garage rock. Led by Daniel James (vocals/guitar), a Detroit native, Leopold And His Fiction has been compared favorable to The White Stripes. While there is something to this comparison, Leopold And His Fiction digs a little more heavily into the soul of 1960’s garage than The White Stripes ever dared. Jangly guitars and Lo-Fi effects highlight the raw sound and Dylan-esque mood Leopold And His Fiction put forth on their sophomore CD, Ain’t No Surprise.

There is nothing polished about Leopold And His Fiction; nothing refined. Ain’t No Surprise is raw Rock N Roll ripped right from the soul and social consciousness of James, Micayla Grace (bass/vox) and Jon Sortland (drums/vox/organ). Songs like Hawk Eyes and Come Back (Now That I’m Here) underline the raw energy Leopold And His Fiction are capable of, while Broke has an almost Jim Morrison-like aura over it. The best track on the disc is Ain’t No Surprise. James has pieced together lyrics worthy of Bob Dylan and a straight ahead folk/rock arrangement that is infectious and memorable. A close second is Katie Mae, a delicious little bit of rockabilly that you won’t be able to resist. Other highlights include Sun’s Only Promise, Mean Ol’ Train and Pretty Neat.

Leopold And His Fiction don’t fit easily into one demographic or genre slot. If you’re a fan of classic garage rock with a penchant for plains sensibility and a back-roads Americana feel, then Leopold And His Fiction are for you. Quirky and dirty with the dust of thousands of miles of road, Ain’t No Surprise will lull you with its earthy feel and worm its way inside your head. It may take a few listens, but this disc will charm you.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Leopold And His Fiction at or, where you can purchase a copy of Ain’t No Surprise.

1 comment:

Michael J. Rastigue III said...

Thank you for the review. Check out videos of; "Broke" and "Ain't No Surprise" shot in Park City TV's studio during the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009.

Michael J. Rastigue III
Business Manager for Leopold and his Fiction