While the Waylon Jennings reference in the title of this seven-song, 27-minute EP is what caught my attention, outlaw country this is not. Rather, Leather Lung is more like Boston’s answer to Weedeater or Dopethrone – drug-fuelled, downtrodden sludge blues, with a few interesting touches along the way.
“Barbed Wire” starts things off with a very Weedeater riff, settling into a solid, mid-paced groove, with gargled, but still fairly intelligible vocals, and a couple slow ‘n heavy breakdowns thrown in for good measure. “Dirty Mangy Dog” has my head nodding from the get-go with a vicious sludgy blues riff that brings Dopethrone to mind, and a chorus you can bark along to. Following an evil-sounding interlude (“Whiskey Barrel Blues”), “Ain’t Feelin’ No Pain” comes in like Lynyrd Skynyrd on hillbilly heroin, a gritty, southern-fried riff anchoring this grisly ode to self-destruction with an unexpected clean vocal section that kicks in around the two-minute mark.
“Miscreant” borders on death doom with its plodding, pounding attack, while “Skeleton Key” pairs a riff reminiscent of Weedeater’s “Monkey Junction” with a clean vocal on the verses…which only makes the sludgy vocal all the more crushing on the chorus, before taking a more frantic turn (and ditching the clean vocals) around the midway mark. I’m definitely adding this one to my “Take as Needed for Pain” playlist.
(Magnetic Eye Records)