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September 2014
Seagulls
"Great Pine
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With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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Leather

New Leather Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

Good morning! Did today's snow and chill snap you out of your springtime daydream? Well, throw your middle fingers to the air, and bash the hell outta something to the soundtrack of Leather's lupine new record Easy! The band quietly dropped the nine-track album last week, and the release once again loudly demonstrates why the hardcore four-piece is the real deal from Philly with no need (or desire) for hype. (And Noisey's Dan Ozzi definitely slept on these guys for his half-assed piece about the Philly punk scene.)

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Leather & Residuels Opening for The Oblivians & The Strapping Fieldhands at Underground Arts Oct. 4

Hardcore outfit Leather understands the power of ferocity playing with a raw undeterred one speed-fits all determination that will shake the pillars of Underground Arts tonight and smack you in the face. The unfiltered garage reverb loaded alliance of Moon Women frontman Justin Pittney and Creepoid drummer Pat Troxell known as Residuels will also be on display creating a carnal retro feeling sound filled with raunchy guitar licks a steady-driving backbeat and guttural vocals. They will be setting the stage for the re-formed garage-punk trio The Oblivians and the forefathers of Philly indie rock The Strapping Fieldhands. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Michael Colavita
 

Leather Debuting New Material at KFN Jan. 25

Leather is currently working on a new full-length record that will feature artwork from Philly photographer Matthew Gallagher, whose work you may have come across through releases from the band Nothing. The hardcore four-piece will be debuting material from their forthcoming album tonight at Kung Fu Necktie, and they’ll also be hosting rising Cali rapper and former Leather bandmate Antwon. Opening the evening will be Heathen Reign, which is fronted by Creepoid’s Pat Troxell. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 10pm, $10, 21+ - Alexis V.

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Leather Opening for Double Negative at Vox Populi Aug. 31

Leather may only have a handful of punishing-yet-complex recordings to their name, but there's absolutely nothing ephemeral about them and the reputation they've crafted. This Philly band's muscle-bound, crazed-circle-pit-inducing hardcore has been hailed as the heir to the throne left vacant by the Cro-Mags, and they've kept themselves uppermost in the minds of hardcore enthusiasts by staying aloof: tantalizingly doling out as few solid hints about their upcoming album as possible without their more frantic fans beating a path to their door. They're showing up tonight to the sweaty lair in the summertime that is Vox Populi with Raleigh tour-mates Double Negative, who bring with them an unparalleled pedigree (members have played in Erectus Monotone and Polvo), and Long Island's Brain Slug. With a forecast of high temperatures, savage loudness and apeshit windmilling, this show is going to be painful in all the right ways. Vox Populi, 319 N. 11th St. - 3rd Floor, 8pm, $6 - $8, All Ages - Alyssa Greenberg

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