When Epitaph Records releases LeATHERMOUTH'S debut, XO, this week, don't expect it to soar to the top of any Billboard charts.
Though the band is fronted by My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero, that's where any similarities between the bands end. True MCR fans---the ones who appreciate the music, not the swoon-worthy looks of its members---will most likely not be rushing out to purchase XO. It is, indeed, a dramatic creative departure for Iero. For those who were pulled into My Chem's Kingdom of hook-heavy melodies, this album is far from an easy listen.
That's what makes it so great. Iero states:
“For me LeATHERMOUTH is how I can vent about all the bullshit that I see going on in the world that makes me ill. I try to belabor the topics people want to forget exist. LeATHERMOUTH is where I can vomit out all the aggression that has built up inside. After recording or playing a LM show I feel empty of all that hatred that’s been bottled up. It’s a pleasant, cathartic experience. I would love to not feel the way I do about certain things, and have rainbows and birds chirping in my head, but that’s just not the way I’m built. I am embarrassed by my emotions and originally wanted to keep LeATHERMOUTH anonymous...but fuck it, none of us are perfect, the world is going to shit, and someone has to say it. I think it would be worse if I hid from it.”
Through LeATHERMOUTH, Iero will reach a whole new audience of fans. Count on all the hardcore kids who thought they were too cool to listen to MCR to be converted.
Don't forget, Iero's music roots began in the NJ punk scene when he sang in Pencey Prep. It's no surprise he wants to continue pursuing other musical styles.
A true artist always evolves and experiments. They use their canvas--whether it be paint or an instrument-- to expand the minds of their audience and express themselves. That's exactly what's going on with XO.
Even if you can't decipher a word Iero's saying, take some time to read the lyrics.
Perhaps you'll be inspired or can find comfort in knowing you're not alone.
"They'll never understand cause they were understood, an "open minded" fake in a bright white coat."-- "Sunsets Are For Muggings"
"I'd rather have my eyes sewn shut than see all the shit that we've done. I'd rather be deaf, dumb and blind than pledge allegiance to a man of your kind."--- "I Am Going To Kill The President Of The United States Of America"
Stay tuned to http://www.myspace.com/leathermouthlives for tour dates. Leathermouth just did a few dates with Mindless Self Indulgence and will hopefully have more lined-up for '09. In a year that promises change for so many, why not start right here? Even if screaming isn't your thing, the live show will pull you into a new world you just may never want to leave.
WATCH LeATHERMOUTH PERFORM "FIFTH PERIOD" AT CMJ:
*By Joelle, who just finished designing the event program for Fashion A Cure and hopes to see you all there this Saturday for indie music & fashion in support of the American Cancer Society! www.myspace.com/fashionacure