Leathürbitch - Into the Night
High Roller Records
8 songs (32' 29")
Available: May 31st, 2019
Reviewed by Andy

I saw local speed metal band Leathürbitch open for Manilla Road last year and was impressed by their retro, high-energy act. Their first LP, Into the Night, is a shout-along of basic heavy metal riffing to falsetto screams that give the mind's eye a vision of the leather and studs the band's name references.

Joel Starr's vocals are rather idiosyncratic; they don't seem precisely on key in several places, and when not screaming, his mid-tenor stays firmly in a small range. But perhaps that lends extra authenticity to the reverb-laden drumming and the old-fashioned overdrive of the guitars, which have a lot more NWOBHM influence than the thrash of other contemporary speed metal bands such as Ranger. While the first two songs are pretty low on melody and hooks, Sleaze City and Killing the Silence both have a lot of the energy I remembered from their live show, with a vicious twin-guitar attack on their solos.

The Leathürbitch sound is best when hammering the listener at top speed, but they can do slower rock-oriented numbers too, just like their 80s predecessors. I'm Insane has the "listened to Judas Priest through high school and then started a band" vibe shared by scores of tunes produced by leather-clad fanatics across the world in the first half of the Reagan administration, and so does I Want What You Got, to a lesser extent. Atmospheric, progressive, modern? Not on your life. Fun to headbang to, especially live? Hell yes.

Leathürbitch's (at present) limited repertoire is made up for by the band's energy and devotion to their retro sound and imagery. It doesn't equal their live act's quality, but it approaches it.

Killing Songs :
Sleaze City, Killing the Silence
Andy quoted 78 / 100
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