Leatherface - The Stormy PetrelLeatherface
The Stormy Petrel

It’s hard to believe that Leatherface have been going at it for nigh-on twenty years already, rampaging through one punk rave-up after another.  It’s been 6 years since their last album, so certainly, these aging punks have slowed and mellowed since then, right?

Hell no!  The Stormy Peterel finds Leatherface as reinvigorated, charging, and  . . . . melodic as ever.  Beginning with the almost Police-ish tones of “God is Dead,” the new album is one treat of roughened melodic punk after another.  And by roughened, I refer more to that voice than the music.  In truth, Leatherface are a lot more melodic and easy to listen to than their name might suggest.  Dismiss any images you have of chainsaw wielding madmen and severed body parts.  Leatherface bring on a Husku Du-ish brand of gritty punk that never loses sight of the song, the chorus and the hook. On this, their ninth album, they remind me of a cross between New Model Army and the Subhumans.  Moderately under-produced, guitar-oriented and ready to tell a tale.  In many ways, the album is so catchy, it’s almost pop.  Stepped-on-in-the-gutter pop, but pop nonetheless

“My World End,” brings on a more straight ahead dissonant punk attack, while “Never Say Goodbye,” could fit comfortably on just about any of your favorite New Model Army albums.  Guitars in full-frontal placement.

One thing that will forever set Leatherface apart from the many out there is the charismatic vocals of Frankie Stubbs, part Lemmy, part Tom Waits, all throat and bile. His rasp brings an immediate personality to each song.  “Nutcase,” uses that voice perfectly through a truly catchy guitar punch to a bop-in-your-car-singing chorus.   Surely one of the standout tracks here . . . but there’s lots to choose from.

After 20 years Leatherface come raging back to remind us why punk mattered so much in the first place.  And they do it with grace and style, spit and ire.  And that voice.  They do it with that voice.

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