By Tom Breedon
Leatherneck, for those of you that don’t know them, are one of the ballsiest, grooviest and all together filthiest products of the UK’s ever growing stoner/groove metal scene! Hailing from Yorkshire, Leatherneck impressed TMR with their second release, the uncompromising Medusa EP. 2014 saw the band grow significantly in stature culminating at a spot at Bloodstock Festival. A year on and the ‘Neck are back with their third offering, 3 track EP MMXV.
The first thing to note is, while this record has evolved musically from the previous two Leatherneck releases, their riff based foundation and sleazy, groovy feel remains in abundance. With added swagger, depth and heaviness, these songs represent a clinic in the art of a band building on an already solid foundation.
MMXV kicks off with a real fist pumper called “Broken”. Low chugging riffs lay the foundation for some excellent vocal lines delivered with uncompromising grit by front man Nic Johnson, as well as some tastefully applied lead overlays. The massive chorus, akin to a heavier answer to a Black Stone Cherry hook, adds the cherry to the top of the cake.
The groove factor kicks into overdrive for the next track “Devil’s Hand”. Right off the bat, one of the funkiest guitar licks these ears have heard in a long while opens the door for a dynamically diverse and intricately song featuring your trademark Leatherneck blend of big riffs, massive choruses and relentless grooves that will keep fists pumping, feet stomping and heads banging for the duration of any live performance.
With the EP’s third and final track we notice a tip of the cap to the immortal Jesse “The Body” Ventura’s line from Predator, a track entitled “Ain’t Got Time To Bleed”. This tune is riddled with late 70’s blues rock influence, but with the guitars tuned down and the bottom end cranked up! Imagine if George Thorogood turned into the Incredible Hulk…that’s what we’re dealing with here!
I’d strongly recommend any enthusiast for catchy, heavy riffs give Leatherneck a good listen. A great band who I’d suggest are ready for the next step. After three terrific EP’s, hopefully these lads can continue to go from strength to strength and the next time we’re covering them it’ll be to tell you about a full length album or a national tour!
Tom’s pick of the album: Devil’s Hand