Leathered A Reckoning
From the very first track, A Reckoning, the debut album from Leathered, arrives with understated swagger, like an outlaw emerging from a cave in the desert, strolling through the shadows. With enough chorus to be shoegaze and enough twang to be country, Leathered straddle the line between genres to present their own unique vision. Self-described as “noirish, psychic rock & roll” on their Instagram, the Brooklyn band consists of Amanda B. Jun on vocals and guitars, Edward Anthony on bass, and Carter Logan on drums.
“It’s My Time” is a perfect lead track, as it showcases much of what makes this album great: spooky dessicated guitar full of reverb and jangle, thick bass that bounces along smoothly, with crisp drums holding everything together. There are the occasional dissonant guitar notes to add a bit more tension. Jun’s vocals are on the softer side but straightforward rather than breathy, and mix exceedingly well into the music. A band statement on their Bandcamp page states that A Reckoning is Leathered’s “aural effort to rebuke the banality of evil, the seductive appeal of apathy” and that the songs “appeal to one’s innate capacity for lightness and joy.” Lyrically, that is evident here from lines like “There’s a darkness breaking into my soul / and it’s taking its toll, I can feel its pull / I need to tune in, hear the words of my sister, sing the songs of my mother’s eternal embrace / we gotta break in, wake up, break down / I know that it’s my time.”
Some tracks are more pop tinged, like “Hours,” while others veer into the country side of things, like “Strawman.” “Prayer” finds itself in more aggressive territory, with biting percussion from Logan (who is also a member of SQÜRL, a band I’ve always loved for their atmospheric qualities, especially on the soundtrack to Only Lovers Left Alive). The rollicking “Superstition” is downright sexy, and songs like “Bones Of The Dead” (“I hear the bones of the dead dancing on my grave / I see the setting of the sun counting down my days”) guarantee the goth cowboys among us a good time.
Fans of Nick Cave, The Cramps, or Dum Dum Girls will find a lot to love on this album. I imagine jamming this while driving across a dark desert, sunglasses on at night, dressed all in black with a cigarette and a guitar instead of a shiny pistol.
Leathered in 2021 (photos by Kate Hoos)
A Reckoning was self released and is available on all major streaming platforms. Leathered will be performing at Our Wicked Lady with Power Pose, The Roulettes, and Automatom on August 31st. You can find them on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Instagram.