With releases on Night People and Holy Holy Holy, Sewn Leather keep good company, and their debut full-length LP on Hundebiss is an almost-gross affair that gouges ears and strangles a specific strain of claustrophobic coldwave until it’s lifeless and corroded. Sikknastafari Slash Crasstafari almost defies reason, a spark-heavy rendering of Indian Jewelry and Wet Hair that pulverizes synths and slows to a near-halt in search of echo-drenched answers. I’m almost reminded of that INSANE Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting 2xLP on Weird Forest when Side B reduces its tempo by 75% and we’re left with lost voices in a cave of shadows and beats low and dirty enough to con a nun out of her life savings. But HOLD UP: that’s not what’s really going on; turns out this is a 33-45 RPM record, so I was listening to the second side, quite literally, in slow-motion.
I guess that’s keeping in spirit with the general mind-fuckiness of Sewn Leather. And wouldn’t you know it, Side B is even better at the appropriate speed (and it’s still pretty damn slow once things collapse, and just peep the song titles responsible for this portion: “I Need a Drain” and “Ooze”), a more traditional brand of echo-obsessed, post-Joy Div gloom/doom mixed with beat-mining and pedal-bashing. Sewn Leather’s complete de-frocking of post-punk reminds me of what The Blood Brothers did to hardcore years ago. They don’t just diffuse the bomb; they rip out its innards, bash them with a bat, and then take a long steamy piss on the strewn remains.
Lest I forget to mention Side A, which is just a little more squelchy and a little more demented, if possible. The throbbing, psych-leftovers mulch of its beginnings almost remind me of Twin Stumps, but “With a Drill” soon settles into a groove keeping with the descriptions above, give or take a lazer-synth or two and the constant fluctuations of the liquid compositions, so fascinating in their own right the singer can get away with simple lamentations overtop. Reminds me a bit of a recent Hot Guts tape wherein that voice served as the anchor while the arrangements themselves flipped, flopped, and folded over themselves like audio flapjacks.
Your mind deserves the stimulation, your ears the gratuitous synth syrup. Go ahead, just a taste won’t kill you.