Leatherface: Boat in the Smoke DVD

Here’s how I look at it: there has to be balance. For every baby-killing, soul-crushing, write-a-song-for-another-pool aging rocker like Eric Clapton in the universe that the national press seems to have an ever-lasting load of cum to supersoak society’s ears with there has to be an opposite force of equal weight. A powerful force. That force is Leatherface. You could be an asshole and say this DVD is just “Old dudes standing virtually still,” and to the uninitiated, you’d be right. They’re not pretty to look at. They don’t move a lot (barring the occasional patented “Frankie Shuffle”). Frankie’s got a Lemmy Motörhead gruff voice. That’s not the point. The point almost seems antiquated. This DVD has what Leatherface does best: write immaculate songs and play with hearts as big as barges while not shying away from the warts of existence. The way the threesome plays their instruments makes you believe they’re making more than just sounds, but are shaping meaning out of thin air. The multi-camera footage and from-the-board sound is excellent. The DVD includes an entire fifty-seven minute show (peppered with songs both new and old), bonus songs from the band’s hometown of Sunderland in 2001 (and Chris Wollard of Hot Water Music on rhythm guitar for “Not Superstitious”), and an interview with Frankie Stubbs. Wonderful stuff. I still get chills when I hear “Springtime.” –Todd (www.punkervision.net)