So while Epic Ditch was a punk, or even maybe a hardcore punk band, you don’t necessarily consider The Lees a shoegaze band. Like your next record could be totally different?

John Davis: Oh yeah, I can already tell you it is completely different. We’ve written 15 songs I think, and we’ll probably end up with that many more. What we end up with may even be different from this batch. There are definitely parallels, just in the way we play and stuff, but we’re definitely not trying to limit ourselves to any particular sound. Whatever comes out, I think that’s the best way.

The above quote is from a 2014 interview I did with former Superdrag frontman John Davis about his current band The Lees of Memory's forthcoming album. That album is finally just about ready. It's called Unnecessary Evil, and several very cool pre-order bundles are available via PledgeMusic. The band writes:

Long before our debut album Sisyphus Says ever landed on your turntables and devices, we were busy writing the sequel…. Unnecessary Evil. We’re overjoyed to finally be able to offer it up for pre-order NOW and get your copy on its way ASAP. We’re also very proud to offer you some of the finest-quality handmade exclusives and fan experiences we know how to create.

Once again, we’ve teamed up with world-class producer Nick Raskulinecz & his team of experts at Rock Falcon TN to help make this musical conception a reality---with an assist from ace mixer Mike Purcell at County Q. Your Access Pass is your ticket to exclusive studio pics, videos, rough mixes & other Pledge-only content, and you’ll be able to download the music before anybody else does. Plus, we’ve got original artwork, exclusive shirt designs, autographed test pressings and much, much more to go along with it. Pre-order now in any format you choose!

One of the pre-order bundles includes a cassette with demos from the album, and the demo for "Squared Up" is out now. As John said in that interview, it's certainly not shoegaze at all. It's a lazy-Sunday acoustic song with some lightly psychedelic embellishment layered over it. It's good stuff, and you can listen below (via Stereogum).

The band is also releasing a 7" where the B-side plays the A-side backwards, from the label out. The A-side, "All-Powerful You," has The Lees taking diving even more overtly into psych, with a trippy vibrato effect on John's vocals and a sitar solo (and two different tanpuras). I personally applaud this new direction. Check that one out below too (along with its very appropriate artwork).


And here's The Lees recording that sitar solo: