Leatherface - Dog Disco (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Dog Disco (2004)


Despite the fact that their influence permeates some of today's most beloved punk bands, the new Leatherface album arrived quietly and without hype. The legacy of Frankie Stubbs and company can be heard in such luminaries as Dillinger Four, Avail, Manifesto Jukebox, Hot Water Music, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Gunmoll... hell a good portion of the No Idea Records roster, yet Dog Disco just snuck by unheralded while the modern punk scene they helped build were busy with other matters.

Considering the type of band Leatherface has always been, this isn't really surprising.

The Sunderland group's honestly a difficult one to get into, but an incredibly gratifying one for those that make the effort. For me personally Stubbs' gravelly, understated vocal style took me a while to get my head around in my first few encounters. Musically however the band sounds all too familiar, especially given that their dense layered guitar sound has been so frequently adopted since. This should work in their favor today, as bands who have run with the Leaterface's style are certainly in vogue.

Dog Disco just may be Leatherface at their most melodic. Frankie Stubbs' may have been far more raging and abrasive in the past, but he's never been this consistently soulful. There's a history in these songs, a world-weary sense of wisdom for lack of a better description. You can hear that in both the band's anthems like the album opening "Hoodlum" to heartfelt material like "Plastic Surgery." The twelve tracks that make up the record may not be the most immediate material the band's ever recorded, but it's certainly a fine addition to their body of work. Furthermore Dog Disco works well as a cohesive album, something the band's always strived for and have once again accomplished.

One must understand that Leatherface is a band that bleeds intensity, and even their more low-key songs give a sense of pressure and movement. Despite their many imitators, few bands have truly achieved this like Leatherface has.