Unknown to some but adored by many, Leatherface is back with their ninth release this time around on No Idea Records. The UK punk rock band holds the title for being not only an influence on many current bands of today, but also in shaping DIY punk rock. Formed in the late 80’s, Leatherface continues to rock on The Stormy Petrel. This is the bands first release in over six years.
Having been a fan of Leatherface for years now I really was curious to see if they band still could contain their sound still and I will say that they have not lost their punk / folky / post-hardcore edge.
The best way for me to describe The Stormy Petrel is to imagine what Gaslight Anthem might sound like if a tired Lemmy from Motorhead fronted the band. Of course I am not saying it sounded exactly like that, but with gruff vocals on top of catchy melodic guitars I could not help but find the similarity. The combination of the soft spoken singing of Frankie Stubbs, the last of two original members (Dickie Hammond being the other) I might add, and appealing rock jams just kept inviting me to listen to the album over and over.
I also liked the symbolism encased in the album’s title as it is in reference to a bird called a storm-petrel who sadly is threatened by human activity. If you want more information about what storm-petrels are all about you should click HERE. Don’t ask me how I knew this, let’s just say I love the Discovery Channel.
Looking deeper into the meaning I also discovered The Stormy Petrel refers to Joseph Hodgson, a man named a hero over a dozen times yet to this day has no tribute for all he accomplished. Check out HERE and HERE for more interesting information about this man who was passed up in the history books.
“God Is Dead” started off the CD and I found myself immediately digging what I heard. The lyrics were a little bizarre speaking of burying someone of a higher power in a shed but it was enjoyable to listen to as was the refrain that begged to be sung along with. “My World’s End” just maintained my interested with a little more punk rock edge to it. The music was not too overbearing and just fit perfect with Stubbs’ vocal strain.
The song “Broken” really proved upon my earlier music comparison as the music mirrored something Gaslight might play. Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the album, I could not help singing along with the uncanny track. The following track picked things up a bit with “Another Dance” proving this album was emotionally all over the place. Other tracks worth mentioning were “Diego Garcia”, “Monkfish” and album closer “Hope”.
With more of a melancholy feel throughout, the album was still a good listen from start to finish. At times the lyrics seemed to repeat too much on tracks but it was not enough to turn me away. It’s nice to see that this band is still putting out worthy material to listen to and what’s even better is that the band is currently touring in support of the release. To hear that a 22 year old band is still hitting the clubs and playing out just proves that you are never too old to do what you love.
Look for Leatherface to play May 9th at Now That’s Class in Lakewood with very special guests Ninja Gun, Dead To Me, and Cleveland’s F*cking Cops plus others. Doors are at 9pm and I am sure there will be a healthy crowd there that night so make sure you get there before it sells out!
UPDATE: Sadly Leatherface had to cancel their Cleveland stop due to an uncontrollable situation including border control. Should I find any more information out I will be sure to post.