‘Fight & Climb’ is the second album from The LRW Project, a self-funded, one-man band from York. Leon Winteringham is behind the lot, and, despite the pandemic-imposed challenges — including lack of studio time and similar hurdles — this latest offering is impressively slick.
Lots of different influences have been kneaded into these songs, which were in their early writing stages back in 2019. There’s a distinctly nostalgic late ‘70s rock vibe to each — in fact, I’d been told by Winteringham that I’d notice Def Leppard-esque, glam rock, electronic shredded guitar elements, and that tip was spot on. Jangly keyboard notes, thudding drums, soft vocals — that’s the gist. Winteringham even mentioned that he wrote these pieces chronologically, too, so the order reflects how it all progressed.
‘Fight & Climb’ opens with the instantly punchy ‘Round Two’, which explores themes of carrying on and simply sticking on the straight and narrow. Winteringham also noted that it was a track that just clicked, and the same was said about ‘Hide Away’, a slightly slower, poppier piece that’s also got that full-throttle throwback style to it.
Meanwhile, ‘The Ride’ has benefited from some tweaking. It was designed to sit on The LRW Project’s first album, but after quitting smoking, Winteringham’s vocals have had some positive pitch range changes, which boosted the song to its current form.
For its uptempo, upbeat shell, ‘Wrong Fight’ certainly stands out. It could easily feature on a Karate Kid/Cobra Kai clip, thanks to its sprinkling of ‘80s riffs. We’re talking the sort of thing Journey or Foreigner could’ve put forward. And while ‘The Second Stint’ is about coping with a passing away, it has these more sombre, wistful tones that add another notch to the album. As does the inclusion of the very prevalent piano on ‘All or Nothing’, which, incidentally, has a few token ‘90s R&B facets for a bit of a difference, too.
What’s more, if you hadn’t checked out the main single, ‘Who Did She Marry?’, until now, that’ll start spinning partway through. So many corkers to play here!
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Wrong Fight’