Leathermouth: XĂ? (2009)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: lifetime_lifetime_
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If someone had played me XĂ? and told me it was fronted by a member of My Chemical Romance, I would say they were full of shit had I not already known. The fact of the matter is, Leathermouth is absolutely nothing like MCR in any way. What Frank Iero and company's new band is, more than anything, is pissed off. As far as sound goes, the dirty guitar tones, boxy drums and horrifying shriek pouring out of Iero's throat give the album a really gritty, dissonant feel. This is in every sense of the word a hardcore record. Hardcore being fast, stripped down, pissed off punk rock -- not the meathead chug-junky garbage that's somehow managed to pass itself off as hardcore as of late.

Songs are kept short and simple; the longest of the ten on the album is just under three minutes long. Guitar work is very straightforward with very little melody to speak of. The chordal nature of the songs helps the band achieve a thick, raw sound that make for great groove parts on the rare occasions where the album takes a breath and slows down a bit.

In terms of subject matter, XĂ? is very pessimistic and very violent. According to the band's website, "Catch Me If You Can" features borrowed elements from letters written by Jack the Ripper. Song titles that threaten to kill presidents and reference school shootings should provided a good idea of what's in store for the listener lyrically.

Leathermouth's XĂ? is a solid hardcore record and a nice change from what Epitaph has been putting out lately. While bands like Cursed, among others, have been doing an arguably better job of essentially the same thing for a while now, XĂ? is definitely worth the time of anyone who's into horror movies and gnarly punk rock.


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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.
TheGuwumpkis (March 12, 2009)

Hardcore rules.
this is not hardcore.
listen to Seasick from NJ.

SilentStorms (February 17, 2009)

I actually thought the review was kind of weak. It sounded like this album was subpar, but I didn't really get a feeling for it in the review.

DrGunn (February 13, 2009)

i'm pretty horrified to learn that james dewees is in this band. that officially makes them coalesce related, which they do not deserve to be.

gypsies_for_life (February 13, 2009)

Sorry, I fail to see similarities with Cursed........

SpAgetttt (February 12, 2009)

awful. sounds like the vocalist from the revenge found a band with less talent

14theroad (February 12, 2009)

A guy by the moniker "lifetime" reviewed this favorably?
What is this world comming to?

cokeslurpees (February 12, 2009)

James Dewees from Coalesce/Reggie/Get Up Kids actually plays drums on this record. I like it.

slowstupidhungry (February 12, 2009)

"MattR.: Yeah, Iero's stance is questionable but he says he's cribbing notes from Jack the Ripper. So take that as you may."

That idea is still corny as hell. Black Flag had some okay pseudo misogynist songs ("I Love You," "Slip It In"), but the idea of using Jack the Ripper's letters is so vaudevillian that it's not so much offensive to feminist sensibilities as it is a dumb a gimmick. I haven't listened to this and don't care to.

inagreendase (February 12, 2009)

This album sounds like the most straightforward version of Ink & Dagger possible. It's pretty decent.

MattR.: Yeah, Iero's stance is questionable but he says he's cribbing notes from Jack the Ripper. So take that as you may.

IReviewMusic (February 12, 2009)

Score is for people who have discovered the hardcore genre within the last 9 months (this reviewer included).

crackpotdemagogue (February 12, 2009)

I've not heard the full album yet - and while i'm interested to hear it, i'm a bit cynical about the fact that epitaph put this out purely 'cause of the MCR connection. There are a million bands out there playing hardcore that is a million times better, more articulate and well thought out than these guys: but epitaph wouldn't give them a second look because they don't have famous connections ie. ability to sell thousands of records to impressionable teens. it's a shame. but, it has been a while since epitaph was significant to the punk scene anyway. most of us look elsewhere now, so all this is to be expected from the label who's roster includes acts as fantastic as bring me the horizon et al.

xshoutoutx (February 12, 2009)

Anyone can write pissed off lyrics, it's a whole other beast to back it. I feel nothing by listening to this nonsense.

grafixx (February 12, 2009)

I like this cd. It's raw and energetic. The songs though have little variation and even though it's a short cd, you get bored of it by track 7. Should have been and [sic] EP

i believe you're treating this the wrong way. album lengths and formats should not be based on how long it takes the listener to get bored. if the songs are too formulaic and sound too similar, or don't have enough to keep the listener interested, it's a problem with the music. format's got nothing to do with it.

DrBino (February 11, 2009)

3 and a half? You're off your head mate. There is nothing on this album that is original, interesting, well thought out or well presented. The vocals are atrocious, the guitar work is sub-par and the drumming is stock standard hardcore. And the lyrics? They have to be some of the worst I've heard this side of a 30 seconds to mars song.
This album is awful and the only reason it was released was because it has the MCR bloke in it. I would say this is the musical equivelant of John Travolta's Battlefield Earth.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (February 11, 2009)

What? He didn't play in Shai Hulud. He did play with American Nightmare though..

givemeamuseumandillfillit (February 11, 2009)

I like this record. Nothing mindblowing, but they way they just go full-on is very refreshing when compared to other hardcore bands who tend to either build on We're Down Til We're underground or sound like Champion.

bryne (February 11, 2009)

Damn, I was in the middle of reviewing this. I did not enjoy this at all.

Finish it up and post it to WWH.

deadxlast (February 11, 2009)

Good album, haven't listened to it more than a few times through yet but I like it a lot so far.

It's a shame that they have to tout Frank Iero as a member of MCR to get this album to sell. Did everyone forget that he used to play in Shai Hulud? MCR fans are gonna hate this, which is cool.

ConsumedByMusic (February 11, 2009)

I like this cd. It's raw and energetic. The songs though have little variation and even though it's a short cd, you get bored of it by track 7. Should have been and EP

Ravnos (February 11, 2009)

Damn, I was in the middle of reviewing this. I did not enjoy this at all.

I'd still be interested in reading your review, either on the site or in the comments. I want to hear the contrary opinion to this review.

ThisKidsAlright (February 11, 2009)

Yeah, that.

ThisKidsAlright (February 11, 2009)

Score is for the reviewer scroring this too highly.

killthepatriarch (February 11, 2009)

This album is awesome!

score's for giving me the force to check this out

holy_balls (February 11, 2009)

score is for james dewees. he's the man! the rest of the band can eat it/suck it/taste it/pancake.

mattramone (February 11, 2009)

Score is for the reviewer not getting pissed off about the misogynistic lyrics.

ding_dong (February 10, 2009)

you know, I think at this point there are more bands people would describe as "not that tough-guy chugga chugga hardcore" than the opposite.

We get it. Hardcore is not about breakdowns and thuggy tattoos. Let's move on.

Blackjaw_x (February 10, 2009)

Holy shit, this is so fucking impressive

...that you made it through the entire album and reviewed it.

Score is for the reviewer's perseverance under tremendous torture.

mikexdude (February 10, 2009)

Damn, I was in the middle of reviewing this. I did not enjoy this at all.

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