Leatherface/Hot Water Music

Leatherface/Hot Water Music

BYO Split Series # 1

BYO

UK’s Leatherface contributes 6 songs and Gainesville’s own HWM 5 songs for just over 33 minutes of tunage. Emo heaven, I suppose. Leatherface, however, are sort of a forerunner of the genre, being an early ’90s band that broke up suddenly after several popular Brit albums, but before most on this side of the pond had heard of them. Their songs on this outing are considerably darker in tone than HWM’s, but share the same type of introspective connect-the-dots lyrics (don’t expect any rhymes or linear storytelling here) with HWM and others generally lumped in the “emo” category.

There are a couple notable differences between the bands, despite that HWM are big fans of their Limey predecessors (they cover them on their Live at the Hardback CD). For one, HWM use more major chord patterns, making their music subliminally more listenable. Second, although both bands use throaty shout-singing, Leatherface’s vocalist gives new meaning to “throaty.” His voice is a rasp that makes Dickey Barrett sound like lead alto for the Vienna Boys Choir. You can tell that the HWM vocalist can sing when he’s not shouting; I’m not sure Leatherface’s could even talk.

Good production throughout, nice to see HWM using Rob McGregor’s hometown studio (listed as “Goldentone,” though that was Rob’s label’s name; guess the “mistake” was because the studio is, or was anyhow, called “Turd”).

BYO Records, P.O. Box 67A64, Los Angeles, CA 90067; http://www.byorecords.com

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