“XO” by Leathermouth – review

20 Jan


Plenty of rock bands have tried to scare and seduce listeners with lyrics about sex, murder or both. Rare is the band that not only scares and seduces, but also makes valid points about society with those lyrics.

The deadly trinity of relentless hardcore punk music, gut-wrenching vocals and ferocious lyrics mark LeATHERMOUTH‘s sound on its debut album, “XO.”

The record opens with the powerful “5th Period Massacre.” The song takes the stance that bullies are the root of high school shootings: “Killed my hopes/Called me names/Broke my jaw,” screams lead singer Frank Iero. “Maybe I can find a way/To make you all go away.” The group’s music matches his screams as it all spirals down to a deep, fierce undercurrent of excellent hardcore.

The rest of the album is just as powerful as the opening track. The chilling “Catch Me If You Can” takes on police via Jack the Ripper-esque lyrics, while “Sunsets are for Muggings” releases the rage of an over-medicated child. Tracks like “This Song is About Being Attacked by Monsters” and “Murder Was the Case That They Gave Me” are horror movies in the form of music.

The ten tracks of “XO” clock in at a swift 24 minutes, with only one song reaching the three-minute mark. LeATHERMOUTH accomplishes quite a bit in such a short amount of time. This is a stellar record that should quickly become a must-have for all hardcore fans.

Many listeners will be introduced to this band via My Chemical Romance, as MCR’s guitarist Frank Iero is LeATHERMOUTH’s lead singer/songwriter. Just because both bands share a member doesn’t mean they share sounds – LeATHERMOUTH and MCR are worlds apart, but in the best way possible.

“XO” by LeATHERMOUTH will be released Jan. 27 via Epitaph.

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