26 January 2009
by Mischa Pearlman
Whatever your thoughts on My Chemical Romance, it’s hard to deny that they’re a very impressive live band. They have charisma, they have energy, they have an unfeasibly intimate relationship with their audience (especially given the size of the crowds they play) and they have the impressive acrobatic guitar playing of Frank Iero.
Normally Gerard Way’s silent partner, for Leathermouth Iero has ditched his guitar and taken centre stage as vocalist of the five-piece. Right from the offset, as he screams for life through opener ‘5th Period Massacre’, it’s clear that this is his release from the trappings of fame and fortune – his chance to vent spleen away from the ever-judging public eye.
And Christ knows what those who think My Chemical Romance are subverting and poisoning the minds of their children would make of both the titles of these songs – ‘I Am Going To Kill The President Of The United States Of America’, ‘Sunsets Are For Muggings’, ‘Your Friends Are Full Of Shit’ – or the hate and rage that explodes from each of them.
XO is a dark and ferocious album that Iero didn’t have to make. Were My Chemcial Romance the band that so many accuse them of being, he would have quite contentedly rested on his laurels. LeATHERMOUTH is proof of his compulsion to make art, to create music, to rip apart and rebuild the very essence of what he does.
Watch the video to ‘Bodysnatchers 4 Ever’ by LeATHERMOUTH
It may not appeal to those who know him through that other band, and it’ll certainly scare away the 14-year-old scene kids who care more about the haircuts than the music, but that’s precisely the point. It’s a record to be judged on its own brutal, violent, desperate, urgent merit. It’s a brutal, violent, desperate, urgent success.
LeATHERMOUTH – XO tracklisting
5th Period Massacre
Catch Me If You Can
This Song Is About Being Attacked By Monsters
I Am Going To Kill The President Of The United States Of America
Murder Was The Case That They Gave Me
Sunsets Are For Muggings
My Lovenote Has Gone Flat
Your Friends Are Full Of Shit
Bodysnatchers 4 Ever