Sunshine and other Forms of Radiation
Perhaps easier to penetrate than an actual leather hymen would be, the music of Leather Hyman is oddly shaped but strangely appealing. On the surface, these seem like innocent enough songs, albeit skewed a touch instrumentally and lyrically. Closer inspection (not too much closer, a glance by anyone not deaf or blind would catch numerous anomalies) brings forth microscopic noisiness, avant-kinkiness (there has to be some prepared piano in here somewhere), and some genuine bad juju. This sounds like grad students who are studying musique concrete and post-structuralist theory trying to make a pop record. The sampling of Iannis Xenakis on what would otherwise be a pleasant bass and piano bit, “Locus II,” points strongly to this hypothesis. Further progression of this record into “Covered in Bees” makes me scratch my head. It’s an energetic song with strong, propulsive violins that remind me a bit of The Rachel’s. Then there is “Jane,” which is an innocuous enough pop song that slowly becomes not so innocuous. It has become a rock critic cliché to say that a band is doing something wholly different, but for Leather Hyman, they really are. They are approaching music differently than I’ve ever heard. Confusing and Thoroughly Enjoyable.
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