Wow. Who’d’ve thunk it? Leatherface have gotten around to putting out some new music. Stubbs and drummer Andrew Laing are the only names I recognise from lineup lists I have seen on other ‘face records, but the music on this CD is rocking, and it still sounds distinctly like the ‘face. The other two members are David Lee, and Leighton Evans (who was in former Stubbs project, Jesse). Just listen to opener, “Andy”, a song in the memory of Andy Crighton. The galloping guitars are a wall of sound, this is how hardcore punk rock should sound, and few ever come close to matching the ‘face’s ever so high standards. Stubbs unique, gravelly vocals are way down in the mix at times which kind of detracts a bit, but I’m sure BYO’ll get them in a decent studio for the forthcoming album (he says, rubbing his hands in anticipation). More explosive guitars on “Eat Her Face”, crumbs is that fast stuff or what. And when the guitars aren’t powerfully crushing you, they nudge and duel, jockeying for position and demanding your attention. All the lyrics are excellent, full of emotion, and sometimes bile too. I particularly like how Frankie spits out the words on “Punch (Drunk)” and his refrain of “and I need digital TV like I need conjuring trickery”. To cap off a fine set of 6 songs is a brief history penned by Jack Rabid, who edits the excellent & many paged zine, “The Big Takeover”, which I have only seen once, but it’s got such a great range of tastes for music and is ever so enthusiastic.

And who better to pair with Leatherface than Hot Water Music? The two bands are touring together, and how I wish I lived in the US so I could see that spectacle. Anyway, pitting them alongside the ‘face gives you the perfect opportunity to see how the UK band’s influence has rubbed off on an American one, even though Frankie & co never before made it to the states. HWM do 5 songs, and they rattle through them at quite a rate, I think this is some of the best stuff I have heard by them yet. You can spot the similar approach to the use of guitars between the two bands. Both employ 2 guitar and a bass, rattling off driving hardcore riffs and a whole lot of energy, whilst merging in the tunes, although maybe HWM aren’t quite so relentless. All 5 tracks are rocking, few pauses for breathe at all. Kick ass! “Bitter End” even sounds like a Leatherface track at the start. Oh, and Walter Schreifels did the production if anyone is interested.

Nice concept too – 2 bands on one CD, if BYO get comparably excellent bands in the future, then they’ll have a great series going. I’d recommend getting this on LP rather than the CD format I have, but either way, it’ll rule. Go get.