Nov 22, 2009

The first eight songs on this CD were “the last” recordings of Leatherface when they broke up in 1993. The recording was never officially released in the United States and pretty much got executed right out of the gate in Europe on Domino Records. BYO’s done us a favor and in this re-issue and have added eight songs. If your panties get twisted easy, the last eight songs aren’t technically Leatherface songs, but Pope songs (never officially released), recorded in 1994 with two Leatherface members (Frankie and Andy) and drummer Chris Mackintosh. While not as consistently stunning as “Mush,” you can’t go wrong with any Leatherface release. “The Last” oscillates from the forlorn pop of “Little White God,” and the stripped, piano-heavy “Shipyards,” which get you ready for the Louie Armstrong-esqe (or choking Muppet, take your pick) skat number, “Ba Ba Ba Ba Boo” and the quirky disco, techno beat breakdown flourishes and whistles in “Winsome, Losesome.” It plays like a band who’s eager to try new things without abandoning what they do best. The Pope material is very reminiscent of Frankie Stubbs’ other project, Jesse. Frankie’s rasp seems to be the center point, and all of the instruments surround and scrub at him, which limits some of the crush and crunch of full-on Leatherface, but damn if it isn’t simply enjoyable to listen to. My obligatory bitch is that there isn’t a lyrics sheet. I mean, who give two shits when bland pop punk band’s yelping about losing their girlfriend, but when one of the most ingenious and literate men in punk rock writes a song, it’d be nice to read the exact words (especially since eight of these songs were never officially released.).

 –todd (BYO)