Leatherface - Mush (Cover Artwork)


Leatherface: MushMush (1992)

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: waste_elitewaste_elite
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Leatherface is easily one of the greatest punk bands of the '90's if not all time. Sadly, due to poor promotion and a catalogue that seemed to hang between in and out of print, these guys have never gotten the true respect they deserve. Thus they have remained relatively obscure through the years an.
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Leatherface is easily one of the greatest punk bands of the '90's if not all time. Sadly, due to poor promotion and a catalogue that seemed to hang between in and out of print, these guys have never gotten the true respect they deserve. Thus they have remained relatively obscure through the years and have garnered the status of simply a "cult band". Fortunately, things seem to have been making a change for the better recently. With songs released on various compilations, a somewhat high-profile split with Hot Water Music, and the reissue of several of their past albums, the word on Leatherface is starting to spread. It's about damn time.

Mush stands as their defining statement. An album that is difficult to describe and even more difficult to forget. I remember the day I bought this album, I put it in my stereo as soon as I got home and just stared stupidly at the wall as the band raged from song to song. Never had I heard anything like this before. I was in complete shock as to how a band this incredibly good remained unknown for so long. From the moment singer Frankie Stubbs belted out "I Want the Moon" on track one to the closer (a phenomenal cover of the Police's "Message in a Bottle") I was completely entranced. I knew that I had stumbled across something truly amazing.

Before I give an analysis of this disc, let me say that I have trouble describing music. Music becomes pointless the moment it can be easily defined and described by words. Music is meant to express in ways that words cannot and to sum up a band with simple adjectives and comparisons is to cheapen their true impact. Regardless, I'll do my best here.

This music is intense. It isn't particularly fast or hard, and there isn't much screaming but it is still more intense than any hardcore band I've heard. There is an underlying sense of urgency and desperation simmering just below the surface here. The two guitars play off of each other, flying off in separate directions throughout the song and syncing up occasionally to hit you directly. This band plays like it's the night before Armageddon and time is fleeting. The sense of desperation is almost tangible.

Frankie Stubbs' voice is coarse and gruff. It takes some people a while to get used to it, but I loved it immediately. It sounds as if he smokes a carton a day and someone switched his Listerine with a can of paint thinner. Very rough, very impassioned, and incredibly unique. It will move you. The lyrics are equally powerful. Stubbs comes off as weary barroom poet who has seen too much of the world. Melancholy and yearning for some sort of meaning to it all.

I cannot say enough about an album like Mush. I recommend all of you track this down, go to a quiet place away from all distractions, put this disc in your CD player or stereo, turn it up loud, and sit in awe. You cannot help but be moved. I think the sticker on the cover of the album puts it the best:

"...Leatherface had no imitators, because no-one came close. They really did make you believe that punk could still matter - that it could be impassioned, intelligent, and intensely affecting..."


People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Clash - London CallingThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldHot Water Music - No DivisionAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyHot Water Music - Fuel For The Hate GameAlkaline Trio - Goddamnit

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bandgeekmafia78 (November 11, 2011)

Amazing band, amazing album. One of the best albums I've ever heard.

Dedricthere (December 2, 2009)

Greatest punk rock album I own ("Horsebox" comes close). This is punk rock for men. The musicianship & artisty is just in another universe if you compare it to other punk bands. Only Hüsker Dü can be compared to them. Find this album and buy it. I did, it changed my life. This is the punk rock band I've been looking all my life.

harnessedinslums (October 16, 2009)

the greatest punk album of all time

spoon_of_grimbo (February 24, 2009)

this is a cracking album. after seeing them at the fest 7, i dug out the hwm split, realised how good the leatherface songs on there are (i'd never really gotten into them properly before that), and promptly went looking for Mush. found it for a tenner, used but good condition, which i think is pretty good. fucking awesome album, worth the price for "dead industrial atmosphere" alone.

wyzo (August 13, 2002)

Frankie isn't a young mohawked boy, hes a man, so if hes wearing a large J-Church shirt, take it up with him, and hell take it up your ass.

I saw leatherface twice, once with two guitars, one with just frankie. Awesome both times, but honestly, the live sound of the two guitars, the density of them was just something that can't compare to just frankie. I was always mad that the recorded version of "Soundbites" didn't have the alternating vocals on the chorus between frankie and the bassist that they play live.
J church is also an amazing band so whats the problem.

"Mush" is great, Dead industrial air being such a classic, if you have a turntable, get Frankie's Solo record with a killer acoustic version of dead industrial air and some more songs.


waste_elite (August 10, 2002)

they played a shitty show in big J-church shirts therefore their integrity comes into question? how's that?

i've had the pleasure of seeing LF live and they put on an excellent show. everyone has their good days and bad days. sucks to be you.

Anonymous (August 10, 2002)

It's generally accepted that the songs on the HWM split are no less than incredible, but their integrity was indeed questioned when lead singer and guitar player of said rock band performed in a maternity sized J Church shirt and proceeded to pretentiously tear through a set that nobody enjoyed. Here I was, thinking what agreat honor it would be to see these infamous musicians while song after song, they dissappointed and blundered.


Anonymous (August 9, 2002)

Epithaph is not punk becuz majer lables r not punk!!!

evildeadalive (August 9, 2002)

Stop posting that everywhere, you are an annoying, ignorant bastard.

Very good review...

Anonymous (August 9, 2002)

Hey Leatherface is a great band. They did a split with How Water Music. HWM are on epitaph records, which i heard is 51% owned by warner bros.

Anonymous (August 9, 2002)

Great review.

I have yet to hear these guys. I definitely want to check them out though.


eyeball_kid (August 9, 2002)

I hope the guy below meant 'blew everyone away.' Anyway I am proud to come from the same town as this band. They are truly fantastic.

Anonymous (August 9, 2002)

Leatherface simply rules
As the reviewer explains there is no band like them
just saw them in dortmund, germany at a small festival and there were as always amazing and blew everybody there off

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