Written by: PP on 21/01/2009 15:49:46

Frank Iero's usual dayjob involves playing rhythm guitar and singing backup vocals for My Chemical Romance. What most people don't know is that ever since his main band went on a hiatus last year, he has also had a side project called LeATHERMOUTH, who are just coming out with their debut album "XO" in a matter of days from now. I for one would love to see the expression on the face of any My Chem fan when they go to the store, buy "XO", and pop it on for the first time, only to discover LeATHERMOUTH to be playing vicious hardcore punk with rumbling bass and breakneck speed, screeching three-chord guitars.

Basically you'll find 23 minutes of some of the rawest, most aggressive hardcore music on your plate here. Things like catchy hooks or melodic choruses are used to a bare minimum, with the ridiculously titled "This Song Is About Being Attacked By Monsters" leading the group. Iero demonstrates his throat's ability to the maximum when it comes to screaming relentlessly, as even comparisons to people like Frank Carter of Gallows aren't too far out. Groovy bass-lines are aplenty as well in songs like "Murder Was The Case That They Gave Me", whereas others, like "Sunsets Are For Muggins" are simple three-chord punk rock with a maniac vocalist screaming his lungs out on top. Now that's the second time I've mentioned Iero's vocals in the same paragraph, and it's for a reason, because it's such a positive surprise to find a member from the absolute other end of the rock spectrum performing effectively the polar opposite of his normal day job and doing it so well. It's a given that 95% of My Chem fans won't like this, meaning that you can actually go to a Leathermouth show and not hear a million teenage girls screaming from the top of their lungs.

As the record is only 23 minutes long, however, you'd expect the band to deliver the goods for the entirety of the record. To an extent they do this through an intense, in-your-face execution of oldschool hardcore punk where choruses and hooks are secondary to aggression and message, but objectively judging, the album does sound kind of same-y from start to finish. It's relentless punk rock after relentless punk rock with no breathing space for the listener - basically what would be the result of Gallows combining their raw attitude with Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare's tight aggression - which is all good, but just like on the latest This Is Hell record, a tiny weeny bit more melody would help this album immensely.

Download: This Song Is About Being Attacked By Monsters
For the fans of: Gallows, American Nightmare
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.01.2009

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