I am proud to finally call Manchester home (I’ve been here a month already, I know) and one thing in particular that I adore about this beautiful city is the music scene. There are so many bands to discover, venue floors to stick to and record shops to blow your wages in. There’s a new-ish band in town that I have to write about. If you’ve heard of Brown Brogues then you’ll probably be aware of the genius that is Mark Vernon. He’s had other projects such as Machiine, Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali, has toured with The Underground Youth and is now giving us the effortlessly sleazy and cool; Leather Party.
The full EP was launched into the world via bandcamp a few days ago but if you follow the band page on Facebook, you’ll have seen that Mark has accompanied the songs with a short story. I’ve read the stories and now I’m taking the stories away from the music to write about it. I’ll put a link at the end, as the best way to listen to this record is to read the stories with the music playing. Then listen to the record in full with no distractions.
Mean Like A Snake (which was a PALBMA song) has been re-worked sort of. It gives a different meaning to the song, and it really makes it sound quite sinister. The brilliant thing about Mark is that his vocals more often than not sound really smutty and decadent. I described Brown Brogues as that a few years ago, and I just love the way in which Mark does it. He’s massively underrated as a musician and as a song-writer. I just think the amount of work he puts into his music is admirable, and makes him definitely stand out.
Something I really love about this record is that it has the uneasiness of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. The songs will make you feel a little uncomfortable and on edge, especially on No Smoke Bout Fyr which at the moment is my favourite but as we know, I’ll change my mind after several more listens. I’m doing a radio show in June and I’m tempted to just play this record on a loop for 2 hours. There is so much to love about this record and there is so much to admire about it. It’s wonderfully noisy and just an excellent body of work.
It has that industrial sound found in the likes of Suicide mixed with something I can’t quite get my head around, and I think that is part of the appeal. Because it sounds like something you really haven’t heard before but as someone who loves all of Mark’s musical projects to date, there is something a little familiar in his sound. But like I mentioned, there is something that definitely keeps you on edge. It’s part excitement, part nervousness.
This record is so easy to love and is an absolute joy to listen to, and the record closer Thick 2 is the kind of song you’d want to hear on the radio (especially if you’re tired of the mundane.) I love how this record sounds like someone who is really pushing themselves to create something that towers over what they have previously done. I love the passion and dedication in this record. I cannot compare this to anything Mark has done previously, everything he has ever done always sounds different and although there may be familiar sounds at times, he really does make music that stretches beyond labels and what is expected. I have no idea what Mark set out to achieve with Leather Party, but I can safely say that, as a fan it is nothing short of perfect. Sure I’d love more songs but what Mark has created here is something to treasure, play loud and snarl at your neighbours to.
You can buy/stream the release here: https://leatherparty.bandcamp.com/releases
Check out Mark’s stories for the music here also: https://www.wearerawmeat.com/posts/leather-party-tired-ize Start with part 1, and allow yourself to be captivated by Mark’s words and music.