Leatherface
Mush


4.5
superb

Review

by rogerdiscoversherpes USER (10 Reviews)
May 4th, 2010 | 28 replies | 6,122 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oft-ignored British punk greats' magnum opus.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Often a band is so much more than the sum of its constituent parts. Some intangible element elevates the music they produce from mediocrity to something special. Leatherface is characterised by this strange phenomenon. They are one of those bands that have that certain something that separates them from the herd, that makes them a band you cherish. And with Mush, we witness the most striking articulation of this curious secret ingredient.

That isn't to say that there's nothing noteworthy about the individual building blocks of Leatherface's music. In the early nineties, no English punk band sounded remotely like them; their guitar work on Mush had far more in common with Bad Religion than with any of their compatriots still flying the flag of punk's first wave. On the album, melody is put above attitude and aggression; lyrics tend to look inwards, or at least at parochial issues, rather than trying to make any broad-sweeping political or social statements. Then there is lead singer, Frankie Stubbs. Many attempts have been made to accurately describe the tonal quality of Stubbs' voice (most of them involve conjecture about Lemmy Kilmister, emphysema, glass chewing and sulphuric acid gargling), but suffice it to say that it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Listening to Mush, thus, hammers the point home rather quickly that Leatherface is an atypical band. Nonetheless, none of these elements in isolation is enough to make them special – or even good for that matter!

What makes them special, and what makes Mush a remarkable album, becomes apparent around the time the first chorus hits on the first track, "I Want The Moon". The band manages that which is so elusive for the vast majority of musicians – to make the listener feel something. To communicate the passion, angst and longing which fuelled the creation of the song. To transport their audience to a distinct mental location, furnished with artefacts from their own lives. To, in short, produce a strain of aural nostalgia which make the emotions blaring out of the speakers pertinent to the listener a world away. I discovered this album 18 years after it was released, in a context that could scarcely be further removed from early post-Thatcher Sunderland. Yet I can count on one hand the number of songs that have made as immediate an emotive impact upon me as "Dead Industrial Atmosphere". Mush is just that sort of album.

It is very difficult to find fault with Mush. The worst that can be said is that it might take some a couple of listens before they really "get" what it is Leatherface do (and to get over the initial shock of Stubbs' vocal stylings and appreciate his diamond-in-the-rough allure). Indeed, I have encountered few who have anything patently negative to say about the album. If you have even a passing interest in anything vaguely resembling punk rock, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not buy this album. It is a genre classic by anybody's measure.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tits McGee
May 4th 2010



1876 Comments


Really nice review man. One thing though:

artefacts

Should be "artifacts". But yeah, such an underrated band.

rogerdiscoversherpes
May 5th 2010



34 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! With regards to "artefact", as far as I know it's an alternative spelling of "artifact"; I'm from a Commonwealth country, so tend to have some variable spelling habits that will probably piss some people off lol. Sorry about that.

But yeah, Leatherface never get the recognition. Such a shame, they're a killer band!

moulefanggoule
October 27th 2011



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Love it, love it, love it!! How can you not love this record! The analogy of Stubbs's singing being like Lemmy chewing glass and gargling acid is pure genius and accurate! Dead Industrial Atmosphere on volume 11 is dynamite. Good review by the way.

ShadowRemains
May 7th 2012



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck this is good

ShadowRemains
June 29th 2012



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

more people should hear this shit

hammerfrost
July 2nd 2012



7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

one of my all time favorite albums by the best punk rock band that ever breathed,absolutely fuckin amazin, grittly melodic buzzsaw anthems with lyrics that make you glad to be alive when you hear em.

ShadowRemains
July 28th 2012



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

don't FUCK WITH, pandora's box

DarthMann
September 29th 2012



13476 Comments


fuck yea

CaptainDooRight
September 29th 2012



28303 Comments


gonna have to check this

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

ShadowRemains
October 4th 2012



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cover of message in a bottle is awesome

ShadowRemains
January 3rd 2013



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how have more people not heard this

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 30th 2013



2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Baked Potato oh my fucking god

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is amazing, they don't have a bad one in their repertoire

KILL
July 7th 2013



70528 Comments


looks sweet

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it is

very

DikkoZinner
December 11th 2013



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album

ShadowRemains
February 8th 2014



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes it is, no bad songs. springtime and pandora's box are so fantastic

ShadowRemains
June 1st 2014



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this might be the greatest 90s punk record

DikkoZinner
June 3rd 2014



2676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a day, not a day goes by

ShadowRemains
June 4th 2014



20228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

NEEDS MORE LISTENERS

YOU FUCKERS



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