Tuesday, May 02, 2017


First we have the "Slow Death" 12-inch EP by the Leather Nun. The record is a curious mix of hard rock/punk and guttural industrial yawp. Not mixed as the peanut butter and jelly that came in the same jar, but as in you have your rockers, short and direct as a swordsman's feint, and you have a few songs where it sounds like your mom is vacuuming the living room in the foreground.

These guys somehow latched onto the Industrial Records wavelength, and like metal bands that celebrate Satan, found their own avatar of darkness, Genesis P. Orridge. Not quite as featsome a character as ol' Scratch, in fact a runt when you get right down to ir, P. Orridge;s atonal scrapings done with Throbbing Gristle found favor with the Nun, so much so that they sort of re-did the T.G. composition "Hamburger Lady" as "Slow Death", perhaps not to be outdone in case there was a sudden craze for songs about burn victims dying horrible deaths and a corresponding dance featuring self-immolation. The Nun actually had a release on Industrial, a cassette I never heard, but actually might comprise some of this EP. I'm sure nude pictures of Cosey Fanni Tutti were part of the signing deal. This was the high point for the Nun, who slowly slid into mediocrity and eventually became such a joke that Union Carbide Productions made fun of them on their first LP. It may be tempting to make fun of other bands, especially when they pretty much deserve it, but remember, your own comeuppance is certainly on its way, which it did in the case of an instant ised bin crapper produced by Steve Albini from UCP that arrived two releases after they should have called it quits. Perhaps the Nun cursed UCP by using a copy of CROWLEY FOR DUMMIES and a Tibetan thigh bone that got thrown into the deal when they signed with Industrial.

The one great song on here in "No Rule" which boasts a repeato riff that James Williamson must still be kicking himself for not coming up with. The vocals sound like the voice I always figured Dr. Doom had, and the whole thing makes most Motorhead tunes sound like "Sally Go 'round the Roses". And I like Motorhead. (EDITOR'S NOTE---and I like "Sally Go 'round the Roses"!!!)

Another great thing about this EP is the band photo. They look like the kind of mental midgets, perverts and general undesirables that the Nazis would have sent off to the early concentration camps before figuring they made for much better guards at the same camp. (EDITOR'S NOTE AGAIN---quit making these concentration camp jokes! My grandfather died at Auschwitz! He fell out of his guard tower!)

Oh yeah, "Ensam I Natt" is a great song too, with an opening bass line that cuts like a meat saw. Alright, so it had two great songs.
But this record really did only have one, but what a wowser. pragVEC were a French band that put out this 12" in 1979, and I heard the song "Wolf" on the local independent radio station that had an adventurous DJ named WT Koltek, The song is the apex of the Rough Trade indie sound, whip-smart but gutsy, full of hairpin turns but not at the cost of foregoing solar plexus for cerebellum. And the "pick the brains pick the brains pick the brains..." refrain is just cool.

I found this EP used long ago, and once I saw the other song titles I figured I was in for a one hit wonder. No song called "Existential" could ever be anything but a stinker. And what's more, if you find the same copy of the record I have, beware! They tried to cram too much music on side two which resulted in the shortest run-off groove I have ever seen on a record, guaranteeing that your stylus will leap as if off a ski jump onto the inner label.

1 comment:

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

There's another Leather Nun 12" I pull out a couple of times a year for the title track - Desolation Avenue. Hot shit.