Leather Lung Open a Scorching Night in Greenpoint on the 18th
This week is a great one for heavy rock. There’s a primo triplebill at St. Vitus on March 18 for $20, which as you may have noticed is cheap for what they’ve been charging since emerging (conspicuously late) from the lockdown insanity of the last three years. That’s most likely due to online ticket price-gouging. Just as Grubhub screws your local falafel place, the Silicon Valley scum are grifting off an already stressed and increasingly depleted music venue clientele.
And of course we know that the whole UN2030 agenda is to get rid of live performance altogether.
But this show’s worth it and more. Leather Lung, who are all over the place, from doom to heavy psych and a post-Pantera vibe that they sludge it up and strip down to the iron frame, are on first at around 7. High Reeper, whose fuzzed-out Black Sabbath emulation is spot-on, are up next. The increasingly diverse Ruby the Hatchet, whose haunting lockdown reflection Fear Is a Cruel Master was one of the ten best rock records of 2022, headline sometime after 9.
Full disclosure: this piece was originally supposed to be a run-through of the most recent High Reeper record, which is as darkly tuneful (some would say predictable) as you could possibly want. But Leather Lung’s latest ep Dive Bar Devil – streaming at Bandcamp – was too good to resist. The Boston band have a sense of humor to match their chops: the inbetween-songs bar skit, and the one with the poor guy at the tollbooth, are pretty spot-on.
Otherwise, they put some thrash into the slow-raging, distantly doom-infused first track, Pissing Gasoline. Track two, Road Soda is built around a serpentine heavy blues riff, with a wall of distortion for extra hypnotic factor. The best cut of all of them is Far Too Familiar, with its eerie delta blues slide riffs and echoey, drowning-pool calm before the buzzsaw guitars kick in – the (uncredited) second guitarist is a welcome addition.