Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Call Of The Wild Leaves Its Leather On

There is a band that has been cycling through my playlist for a few weeks and I can't ignore them any longer. Brooklyn-based garage punk band Call Of The Wild's debut Leave Your Leather On is a tightly abrasive album that is loud, fast, and reminiscent of the original CBGB scene.

The album's title, Leave Your Leather On, even has a dual meaning. In one of the first interviews with the band via Verbicide, drummer Allison Busch (formally Awesome Color) offered up two explanations. One was that singer/guitarist Johnny Coolati used his leather jacket as a blanket in jail. And the other? It will remind you how much Busch has been missed while she was tending bar.

Leave Your Leather On is rough rock for the all right reasons. 

The band came together about a year ago after a long-time friend of Coolati's convinced him to give up on Nashville and head to Brooklyn. His friend wasn't the only one. Busch happened to be tending bar when the call took place and she shouted some encouragement.

Max Peebles (Turbo Fruits), who was already in New York, was another natural fit for bass. Coolati and he had played together on short-lived projects and always clicked, giving them a power trio good enough to create some unrelenting heavy sound, only louder and faster than they've ever played.

Any other trio might not be able to pull it off, but Busch, Coolati and Peebles have the right skills and character. As Coolati tells it, all three had gone through enough shit to be themselves and have fun — like a crew of maniacs playing for friends. They pick up this thinking in All The Lessons.

Although down the track list on the album, All The Lessons is indicative of the attitude of the band. They've learned the hard way enough times that another knock isn't going to move them. But that doesn't necessarily mean they will take it either.

That cover of an Rose Tattoo song would have made a great opener, but Leave The Leather On starts with the pulse-quickening Autobahn. There is a bit of pop punk in its restraint, but the speed of it still makes for an addictive tune.

The second track, Breakin Shit, is much more aggressive, fast enough that even the band sometimes has a hard time keeping up with themselves. Busch's assessment that they want to play like maniacs comes to fruition with it. It's fitting for a mosh pit; a cure for any and every bad day.

There is enough diversity in the music to make you pay attention, drifting back and forth from heavy rock to garage punk, with blistering songs like I'm Scarred and Choke Out. The latter carries lyrics that sum up what the band has said could be their motto. "Take it or leave it, win or lose, this is the life we choose."

The rest of the album is much the same, but with shorter and increasingly tense tracks like Crack The Whip, NY Ripper, and It's Your Night. They all have their share of adversity and hardship. It's Your Night is especially pointed with its promise to never back down. They don't on an off-album track either.

Goin' Around was performed as part of the Secret Project Robot last May. What makes it stand out, even if it isn't on the album, is it demonstrates the connection of the quickly formed trio as well as the seamlessness of Coolati and Peebles trading lyrics. As for Busch, she has to be one of the most physical  female drummers out there.

Leave Your Leather On Calls Up 8.6 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Call Of The Wild is dirty, heavy, and sometimes punk. It has all the makings of a great aggressive band that doesn't make you feel mad as much as it makes you feel like they got something off your chest. It's hard to say when any band has been able to that.

Leave Your Leather On by Call Of The Wild can be found on Amazon. You can also download it from iTunes or order up a CD or LP from Barnes & Noble. It's a great pick up from Kemado Records too, a label that is just helping the band get things moving in the right direction. Check out the band on Facebook.
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