LEATHER ZOO - NAKED FEEDBACK
A considerate rock CD with a lady that can sing and some players that can certainly play gives Leather Zoo a deep, rewarding pedigree with the only niggle as regards this collection is would Fungal rate or rubbish it? What I have heard and seen so far has been nothing short of fuckin' wonderful so seriously high expectations were had before this 10 track effort popped through the letterbox. This heady level of anticipation can be a hindrance and therefore could cause anything less than magnificent to get an unruly and mistimed drubbing. I tread the tightrope of tuneage carefully and make note not to plunge into this nebulous trap but will, once more, be as OMD as ever.
'Fleur Du Lys' is nothing short of exceptional and really does make the hairs rise on the back of my neck. Those opening glistening tinkles promise oh so very much and I am never ever deflated by what follows. Front lady Mel deliciously pours forth lyrics of hope and defiance with the players at the back providing a controlled noise as perfect compliment. When the song breaks into chorus mode the delight is complete with the band reaching thoroughly joyous extremes. Everything I adore about this band is captured within this opening burst and all that is need is for the following 9 tracks to be somewhere within the same realms as this gargantuan piece and we will have a veritable classic to play over and over again. 'George And The Dragon Whore' skips along with a rocking folk inflection and an eagerness of sound that captures and holds. Again the vocals are utterly professional, the accompanying noise produced and played to perfection thus creating a truly admirable piece of sonica. The zest is obvious, the musical interludes twisting and meaty and the general shuffle infectious - need I go on?
'Stranger' sends tender ripples of acoustic persuasion each and every way and has a genuinely ideal build up to another stunning song. Oral outpourings kissed in crystal moonlight bathe the listener before the clouds of tuneage suddenly rupture and the clear, refreshing shower of accurate noisesome needles is welcomed upon us. The strength of the storm comes via bold flash guitar that is blended to be most immaculate and invigorating. The windswept wanderings of the mouth float on the building breeze and I am really taken aback by what the hell I am listening to here. Massive moments from an outfit emerging from an overly long embryonic stage - the feed is over, the shell cracked, the appearance triumphant - go fly high! Tension builds with strings and a blast towards the final flap of the wings is taken - whoosh! 'Release Me' is the quirkiest snippet and a joyous and happy go lucky flutterby. Positive and post-punkish this is a real perverse pigeon in the cacophonic coop and deserves extra listening seed from you the punter. It is a sweet turn and throws the CD out at a different tangent which is always welcome. Following on from the previous masterpiece is hard work but the song has enough of its own character to stand out and it is just as well. What follows is unbelievable song writing of the most astounding kind and drips with talent and detailed artistry. I have an increasing list of favourite songs by this band but this one is really pushing for top spot. 'Serial Killer' is poignant, beautiful and delivered with a standard and certainty reeking of a crew tattooed with blinding belief. Every aspect of the song is a rewarding listen and numerous plays are needed to soak up this watershed of brilliance. From the deeply textured utterances to the marvellously effective chorus through to the twist and burn instrumental segment that is both unexpected and totally fuckin' amazing. The slip back into the exciting chorus works with relish and at 4 minutes 34 seconds the song expires just in time. Delicious, and if this ain't my 'Song of the Year' then some fucker out there is writing something indescribable!
'Charlie' jumps off the kerb in punky style and weaves through the first verse with smooth winding ease. The chorus is short, all-inducing and niftily slipped in with all octanes set at boost. A great ‘Sex Pistolian’ guitar cut power blasts and adds weighted ooomph to an already loaded up number. It's 6 in a row folks - this is a blitz! Air-raid sirens give further warning - take cover its all explosive stuff. Guitars once more shatter through your resistance and if 'Fairy Punk Princess' don't grab yer by the short and curlies with the opening blast the chorus will ‘have you’ without a doubt. It is a creatively colourful piece and the initial strokes tempt and tease with the end result guaranteed to please. Within the textual tones are many hidden sub-sounds and all I ask is that you listen carefully to all that has passed so far and don't miss out on every last musical morsel. '88 Kids' begins with a sub-70's British crime theme before introducing the female angle that again is icing on this choice cake. Many layers are at work and one can't help but compliment the band on a stunning blend that is embracing all their very own idiosyncrasies. This maiden is already beautiful and the added make-up maybe minimal but is so exact so as to accentuate every winning feature. I'm taken hook, line and sinker - please help!
'Bellis Coldwine' is sonic weird fiction if that what the band want to attain and their musical appreciation of China Tom Miéville's work is just lovely. With hairline fractures running throughout, a coldish vocal delivery that stands off before dipping in with fingers of feeling what we end up with is a sweet curio that has many facets unhinged from each other but also in alignment. It is a 'tampered with' effort and I have no complaints with the bastard noise the band give birth too. 'Cold War Warrior' marches in with a direct and authoritarian style. Each step is affected and stamped forth with the lead lady offering an opposing stance with an easy, languid style of gobbology. Temperatures rise and the one-two fuck you stride is broken and a reeling dance is had between the oral siren and the upright soldier. We are dragged in and the entwining rapture builds with electric tautness and full-on saturation. The rhythmic blankets are sodden, the final heaves relieving and so one long fuck is accomplished, enjoyed and rounded off with wonderful exhaustion.
Leather Zoo have pushed hard, taken time, appreciated what is needed and come out glistening in victorious glory. Many positions have been taken, many sensations achieved and all in sweet unison with one another and the listener. One feels almost voyeuristic being given the chance to watch this triumphant copulation of sound but this punk rock peephole pervert ain't complaining. An epic CD, a veritable must to purchase and truly my pleasure to review. If this ain't in your collection soon then you really are out of sync with the sonic sub-scene. Buy, Buy, Buy!