Sunday, October 26, 2014
Sunday Smoke: Leather Lung - "Reap What You Sow"
Some things need to be experienced without distraction. Isn't that what Kyuss instructed? If you're gonna smoke yourself stupid, the perfect sidecar is the grimiest, steadiest stoner-sludge within arm's reach. But more important is to isolate the experience with decent headphones. After all, do you really want your mom coming downstairs, interrupting your session to complain about that racket?
Speaking of your mom, she looks great on the cover of Leather Lung's Reap What You Sow. Four New Englanders, five smokey cruisers, and twenty-seven minutes are all you need to make today lazy, hazy, and stickier than your stepdad's backseat. And it's okay if you don't wanna share.
A familiar stoner fuzz permeates the album, immediately evident on Burning Out. The opener rips with riffs and heavy hits, repeatedly parting the basement haze with fuzz licks that lift us into another atmosphere. Mike's vocal is little else but shards and splinters, spit hot and angry. But these rueful reflections can hardly pull you away from a Sunday sit down with your shadiest pals. The quick follow-up Green Bitch is stoner-punk sneer with a staggering gait, set off by Ben's potholed path. As we struggle for balance, Zach's blistering licks steady our hand. But these lungs are filling up and these eyes have grown heavy, bro.
An all-out embrace of loser-dom follows on the album's back end. Stone by Stone bruises behind heady buzz and riffs accumulate upon themselves. In short, the thickness is gonna coat your throat before lulling you with a cool, indian-circle sense of comfort. Don't get too cozy, though... "Third eye opens, two eyes close"? We're smoked silly and burnt into oblivion. Jesse's bass plucks introduce Moth to the Flame, offering a complete vocal tandem that juxtaposes itself. As a sandstorm develops, Leather Lung lift the tempo and swallow everything in sight. The slow to a sludgy stumble is as sticky as it is heavy. The transition to the closing Repack/Relight is swampy and strangely cathartic, snagging spacey elements to aggravate the swell. Screeches offer a bit of unease, but a slow strip of excess counters buzz-backed thumps as we ultimately, finally fall to a knee.
Leather Lung see no need to justify the fog. The bake is why you wake, so fuck the nickel and dime façade. Start to finish, Reap What You Sow sifts for stems and seeds, enveloping listeners with a viscous hybrid of low-slung, low-freuqency Acapulco Gold. Heshers generally have no shortage of free time. But rarely do they make such good use of it as with these five nugs.