IMPERIAL LEATHER: Do You Know Where Your Children Are?: LP

I have few people whose musical judgment I can trust for recommendations. My brother is one of those few. He told me about this Swedish band called Imperial Leather who featured members of DS 13, among others, and how they were just incredible live. So I went to see them play at the sorely missed Long Beach warehouse here in southern California back in 2005. How great was this place? You could bring in your own beer. It wasn’t uncommon to see people walk in with picnic coolers full of brew. And if you ran out, there was a soda machine that sold PBR for a buck. I used to drink way, way too much, so much so that I sometimes couldn’t remember anything from the set of a band for which I drove twenty-plus miles out of the way to see. Yeah, I’m fucking stupid. Then I get this for review and, although I should already have a basis for what to expect, this record hits me almost like a religious miracle. How did I manage to miss out on this band for this long? Fucking amazing, nihilistic, mid-paced punk with a vocalist putting to shame powerhouses such as Penelope Houston and Poly Styrene (RIP, no disrespect). It’s rhythmically stomping without a trace of catchiness: punk the way it was meant to be. Tyrades fans should be all over this. The insert included says that this record was recorded in 2007, though I’m not sure if this is late in reaching the Razorcake compound or just now seeing a long-overdue release. In any case, it’s a masterpiece.

 –Juan Espinosa (Profane Existence)