Leon : Stimuli is a rock band from Oakland, California and consists of only three members, singer / guitarist Jimmy Tomahawk, bass guitarist Tai Hake, and drummer Cole Andrew. The band was founded in 2013 and was already able to release a self-titled EP a year later, then still with singer Kris Nova. After Nova left the band, the band continued as a ‘Power Trio’, Tomahawk took on the vocals, completing his childhood’s dream, in which he plays guitar and sings for a band. The only thing missing is a full-length album with his own songs. The group worked hard on the debut album and, you guessed it, will see the light of day this year under the name 'They Are We'.
Musically there is a mixture of influences from various great rock bands, it’s evident to hear the influences of Alice In Chains, but there are also influences from Soundgarden and Black Sabbath to be found. Perhaps it sounds like something adventurous but this is not really the case, it sounds like something familiar, something that we have heard many times before. Actually, I could say that the band would probably have been more popular during Grunge's peak days. On the one hand this is positive, because it is easy to listen to, but on the other hand it also means that the gentlemen are not exactly innovative. In this review I mainly lean towards the positive side of that argument because the songs are solid, the gentlemen control their instruments very well, and the voice of bandleader Tomahawk fits well with the music. Small points of criticism are to be found, for one I find Tomahawk’s vocals to be a bit monotonous (there could have been more variation), also the bass drum is drowning away in the mix, the sound of the bass guitar is not very nice, and very occasionally it sounds as if the drums and (bass) guitars are playing something slightly different, and that makes it sound a bit unorganized (this is clearly audible in the first song '+ - x').
Other than that, I can only conclude that 'They Are We' is just a good album, the guys from 'Stimuli' should be quite happy with that. For me personally it’s not original enough, and it’s also not entirely my cup of tea to get really excited about it. Also the few points of criticism cause a small reduction in the overall score. That being said, I would advise fans of e.g. Alice In Chains to give the band a shot, there is a good chance that this will be a pleasing experience.