Leash – “Dead End Breed”
When I think of Leash I think of pretty flowers dancing in the sunshine.
I think of cool, placid water with golden beams of light glancing upon it, blinding our eyes with warmth while rows of dandelions promenade over the skyline.
Did someone just dose your Jagermeister with ecstasy Slimedog? You may rightly ask.
No, in fact, Leash are from Portsmouth New Hampshire, where my sister lives, and though I’ve never visited this quaint, seaport village- it conjures up quite the nice, pleasant place to be.
Which is not what Leash’s music conjures up. Oh, no- indeed.
Maybe medieval dungeons where pain-driven creatures writhe in agony while hot, molten spikes are driven into their eyes and ears is more like it.
Leash is thrash, grindcore, D-beat influenced punk/metal music that carries no shape or weight from where they’re from. This is powerful, passionate music that’ll rip your eardrums apart then stuff them through your heart into your soul.
This band has the barking death/hardcore vocals, the grinding, doom laden, industrial chords and song length that is just slightly longer than those of power violence.
And a whole slew of great songs that yanks the false niceties of everyday life and slice them open to the core, to realness, like they were little lamb-ies brought to the slaughter house.
Let’s look inside this debauched bunch of songs and see what horrors we may behold-
“Cynically Depressed” leads off with some feedback and some sludgy chords but soon this song steps on a live electrical wire and were shot alive with a powerful, thrashy beat. The growling, death vocals appear over an exciting, hardcore romp before a surreal, swirling guitar lick arrives buzzing like a wasp trapped in chainsaw. This is an awesome song full of anger and aggresion. And wasps trapped in chainsaws.
After one chord left ringing, “Dead End Breed” comes crashing in with a killer, doom-y but energetic thrash guitar riff. But once the harsh, hardcore vocals come in, the rhythm section jolts the energy up a notch along with the intensity. The rhythms thrash wildly, the vocals growl viciously and the guitars grind away in unrelenting, manic force. The exciting chorus has a call and response going on with the background voices. This song rips along with the velocity and rhythm of a deranged doctor on meth performing a full frontal lobotomy. You’re not buying that? Well, how about this is my favorite song on the EP.
With a feedback guitar, some belching notes and some dissonant chaos, “Death Breathe” comes together to form a thrashing, bashing, powerful cauldron of sound. The trilling guitar moves up an octave, along the way, until the beat is brought down to an awesome, groovin’, headbangin’ breakdown part. Some more shouting background vocals, more incredibly intense music and more goodness than you or I deserve or ever believed possible in our lives.
After some feedback and after a descending, discordant guitar line fly’s by, “M.A.G.A.” detonates into a hardcore mosh-pit explosion, punctuated by a chorus with an over-caffinated guitar riff. A neat guitar chord based coda that has a continuous, chugging stop and start rhythm takes out the song. This tune is rhythmically, lyrically and musically disjointed and upsetting and very, very cool.
Leash implies putting a constraint on something or someone, which certainly doesn’t fit in with this bands overall sound, which is a full frontal assault of marauding mayhem. A straightforward attack on all that is safe and ordinary.
This band is more like a rabid bulldog, dosed on Jagermeister and ecstasy, pulling on its leash, then pulling us along and leading us into a reckless adventure filled with shouted, exhorting vocals, unrelenting rhythms that push against the barriers of existence and grinding, assaulting guitars and blasting bass whose only object is to decimate every living being within its reach.
This band from the calm, quiet land seems to want to hit us with a sound like a nuclear bomb filled with fury and passion and stuffed to the gills with manic energy and crushing volume. And whose disregard for our mental well-being is alarming with their output of such jarring voices and sounds.
This band is working in the area where, I feel, all great local metal/hardcore bands are working in. And that is, I believe, with songs that are hard, short, brutal and true.
Just be wary if you meet these guys, though I’d love to catch them live. If they’re anything like their music they might just leap for your throat.