Succulent by Human LeatherRelease date: March 2, 2019
Punk Rock. Despite the recent shameful pantomime wheezing of old dames Johnny and Marky, punk will never die as long as young people keep smacking face first into a world as uncaring, confusing and infuriating as ours blatantly is. Human Leather are punk rock in that convulsive sense. Succulent is a 15 minute screaming fit of animosity and frustration. Bursting with energy and possibility, it’s an intuitive psychic defence against a world of shit. Not that it’s simply a blast of misanthropic rage though, it’s also a liberation. Human Leather are both fierce and fun.
On first encounter I’ll admit the name was a bit of a worry, suggesting some serial killer obsessed incel goons churning out halfhearted power violence nihilism or dreary shock metal transgressions. Mercifully they’re nothing so tired and tepid. A drum and bass duo kicking out a remarkable level of noise and energy, there’s something thrillingly unstable about them. Tom Close’s drumming is from the explosive, attention deficit, hitting-all-of-the-things-all-of-the time school. Amée Chanter’s bass has a magnificent noise rock tone and her vocals are a deep bark that’s frankly unsettling. Their music is raw, ill mannered and urgent. They seem like they’d be a good laugh in the pub but you’d need to keep an eye. Before you knew it they be picking a fight or weeping in a corner. Or both.
If the lyrics are difficult or impossible to make out the music hits you with a combustible mix of emotion, abjection and simmering violence. To balance all this feral id energy the songs have lengthy titles that display a sharp wit and intelligence, in case you were starting to think they were just a couple of white trash savages. The first tune is called ‘Looking Great Is Nice And All, But A Little Worrying If It’s Your Only Hobby’ and is two minutes of face melting noise punk. The second ‘One Day I Hope You Realise That We’re All The Same Species Living in The Same Biosphere and That Focusing on Melanin Content of Skin is Pathetic’ churns and twists and thrashes before settling into a slower second half. And so on.
Ironically their longest number (almost 4 whole minutes) has the shortest title. ‘Geoff Tipps’ even settles into a chugging groove for a couple of minutes that briefly recalls Tweak Bird before flipping out again. Human Leather do not seem reserved or self regarding, to the point where you wonder about their instinct for self preservation. The last track ‘When You’re So Boring You Have to Impress People with Inanimate Objects’ has a title that captures their ‘Everything! Here! Now!’ urgency and a video that seems to catch their zero fucks openness. It’s just over a minute long and watching it should tell you everything about whether you want to get to know them better. Juicy.