San Diego-based Leaders in the Clubhouse – founded by friends Charlie Recksieck and Spud Davenport – are a band that loves to have fun, combining blunt, mostly humorous lyrics with toe-tapping piano rock instrumentals. The band’s debut album, “Won,” achieves that balance in an enjoyable way, so that the listener is having too good a time to realize that society may, in fact, be crumbling all around us.
The question of “What is happening to our world?” is ever-present on “Won.” The album directly laments our overreliance on technology and luxury, respectively, on tracks “These Goddamn Devices” and “Law of the Jungle.” Entitlement doesn’t escape unharmed, either, with the album’s shining musical moment – the six-minute, confident rocker, “Trophies” – which offers the swift wake-up call that “You don’t get a trophy just for showing up.”
Even with so many “state-of-the-world” tracks, Leaders in the Clubhouse have a couple of relationship observations to offer on “Won.” The album’s opening, Ben Folds-esque track, “She Gets Loud,” doesn’t leave much to the imagination with lines like, “We do each other sexual favors.” Meanwhile, the frank chorus of “Hater” suggests that a partner’s personal interests don’t matter toward the health of a relationship, as long as mutual love interest remains.
The band’s ability find humor in a world with many faults is perhaps most evident on the album’s closing track, “Lawnchairs,” which finds Leaders in the Clubhouse laughing at the hysteria created around potential doomsday scenarios. This piano-driven, jazz-tinged number offers up the apparent moral of “Won’s” story: If the world is going to burn, you might as well warm your feet by the fire and enjoy yourself.