Punk rock godfathers Leatherface present a recording of the Melbourne date of last year's epic 'Stormy Petrel' Tour, that covered Europe, Canada, America, Japan and Australia. Having been on the go for nigh on twenty years, it's easy to overlook Leatherface in the wake of the local scene's recent resurgence of alternative and acoustic rock. One listen to 'Live in Melbourne' however, and it's abundantly clear that they're still going strong.
A collection of songs spanning their lustrous career, the pairing of Frankie Stubb's gravel and gasoline vocals and melodic riffs were post-hardcore before post-hardcore was post-hardcore, and the amount of influence they have wielded over the American punk revival scene is frankly startling. In fact to my relatively young ears these songs could easily be those of Hot Water Music or someone similar. But this thrashingly good performance is all Leatherface, and comes complete with not only drive and passion but bags of Mackem charm, and such quality banter as “If I keep pulling me trousers up it's 'cause Australian Customs Officers thought I had a load of smack in me belt.” The 19 track album ends on a reflective note, with a borderline tongue-in-cheek cover of Nine Inch Nail's 'Hurt', albeit leaning towards Johnny Cash on the vocal side. Perhaps an unusual choice of cover, but a fitting comment on the eclectic stylings of the band. Besides, they're legends, they can do what they bloody like.