Thursday, 18 July 2013

HAUNTED LEATHER - ALBUM REVIEW

Haunted Leather - In Her Golden Room (Stolen Body Records) 
Haunted Leather - In Her Golden Room

Release Date: 10th July

We need to get these rules sorted out. It may only be a minor thing but does 5 tracks really constitute an album? An EP yes, a single no, but an album? Not for me. Anyway, never judge a book by its cover or a collection of songs by its collective title, as the saying goes... Michigan boys Haunted Leather are a spaced out, psych rock beast of a band with a taste for layers of distortion, slabs of sustain and slices of delay. This is real wall of sound stuff and this is particularly evident on opening track 'Come And Join Us' which has a Doors-esque rumble to it but not quite the vocal personality of Mr Mojo Risin'. 'Midnight Women' has a lazy, Vegas lounge bar at sun-rise vibe to it with loose drum fills in the background like the onset of a hangover that only another whiskey will cure. The trouble is, there is no whiskey left in the bar and that hangover is only going to get louder, more pounding and heavier in your head. Title track, 'In Her Gold Room', is the sexiest song in this collection and again features that ultra laid back but supremely sunny vibe that makes you want to pour yourself a drink, roll a fat one and just turn this up to 11 while the sun streams in through the window.

This isn't the world's most ground breaking or forward thinking music but there is a wonderfully nostalgic appeal about and it feels like these guys live this music. 'The Heat Sits' has an uncomfortable frustration about it, as though the band are waiting for the air to cool enough to make it out of their den and on to the strip to look for hard liquor and loose women. Finally, as the swathes of guitars clear, the simple, pure Beach Boys on a come down melody of 'Sophie's Song' emerges from the haze. This bass driven love song has an almost optimistic feel about it and finally sees vocalist Dusty (I know, perfect right?) emerge cautiously from behind the wall of guitars and organ before being slowly dragged back in by the sheer weight of the music. Haunted Leather is maybe an appropriate name for these guys as it feels as though they've slipped in to the inexplicably snug clothing of psych-rock heroes of yore before channelling their spirits through their fingers and voices. Perfect stuff for a the end of an all nighter as the sun comes up and the world starts to makes sense once again. Or does it....?


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