LEÆTHER STRIP

Album: "Retrospective" (1997)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 14

B
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

This is a good collection of older Leaether Strip material all put onto one CD. It includes "Japanese Bodies", "Zyclon B", "Anti Us", "How Do I Know", "Strap Me Down", "Razorblades", "Don't Tame your Soul", "No Rest For The Wicked", "Adrenaline Rush", "Nosecandy", "Turn To Stone", "Face OF Evil", "Take The Fear Away" and "Lies To Tell". There is something here taken from just about every Leaether Strip release leading up to the most current CD. The songs found here do show the many different styles of Leaether Strip from extremely noisy, aggressive and chaotic to more dreary, eerie and gothic. Leaether Strip has been copied by many over the years, but this CD will prove to you that Leaether Strip is the real deal when it comes to dark electro industrial music. While overall this a great compilation, I am not completely happy with the order in which the tracks are layed out. Instead of going from older to newer material, everything is thrown on the CD randomly. This gives an unbalance to the CD due to older Leaether Strip material sounding a bit dated. It would have worked better to start with the older material first and progress into the newer songs. But this about the only complaint that I have here. If you want a back catalog of Leaether Strip songs all on one CD, this is a must.

 

Album: "Anal Cabaret: A Tribute To Soft Cell" (1998)
Label: Metropolis Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 5

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This album features five Soft Cell songs covered by Leaether Strip (AKA Claus Larsen). Think of a more synth-pop Leaether Strip sound with Claus singing as opposed to growling. That's basically how these tracks come off. Does this actually work? Yes and no. Claus obviously brings in his traditional dark mood with frantic electronic programming and haunting synth melodies. However, his vocals are less distorted here than usual. While this is fine, it just doesn't quite work when Clause actually tries to carry a tune and sing with harmony. While I like Claus' voice, he's just much better at shouting with anger and singing dark and dreary as opposed to singing melodically.

The best cover here is of "Sex Dwarf". While the original is an excellent song to begin with, Claus turns it into an aggressive track with fast paced rhythms and beats designed for the dance floor. He grunts through the song with distorted growling that fits well. While the other four songs here are good as well, they seem to be a little more 80's New Wave style. Claus is just much too dark for upbeat happy sounding electronic music.

Everything here does have a dance edge to it, so nothing will bore you. But nothing seems quite as interesting as Claus' original Leaether Strip material. This could be because he's a great song writer that usually has deep emotional lyrics combined with dramatic and chaotic music that follows right along. These covers just don't seem to have that edge.

The last song on the album "Youth" is the most traditional sounding Leaether Strip song to be found here. It's fairly slow paced and very dark with a slight gothic feel to it. This is what Claus is best at in my opinion.

The bottom line is that this is a good CD for the most part, but I myself would still rather listen to original Leaether Strip material.

 

Album: "Self-Inflicted" (1997)
Label: Zoth Ommog
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 12

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

The Leaether Strip of old is back. Claus Larsen has decided to return to his roots and create some extremely aggressive, angry, and fast paced dark electro industrial songs. The last two Leaether Strip albums were rather slow paced and moody leaning more toward goth, and less toward industrial. However, it's quite obvious that Claus got that out of his system and has decided to get aggressive once again. This album tends to mix the older Leaether Strip sound with the more recent one. What you are delivered is fast paced and energetic music with a more melodic feel to it. Both hyper electronics and haunting synths are equally as important here. Some songs have Claus screaming in a distorted fit, while others he actually sings with harmony and less distortion. There isn't a slow song to be found here. Some are just pure rage for the mosh pit, while others are catchy for the dance floor. The variety here is amazing. Each song sounds diverse and presents something new. There is even some techno elements at times that lean toward a sci-fi sound as opposed to a gothic one. A dark cover of the popular X-Files theme ends the album. There is too much variety found here for me to list all of the great little things that Claus put into his music. You're just going to have to get this album and experience it for yourself.

Album: "The Rebirth Of Agony" (1996)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 12

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This sounds a lot like Leaether Strip's previous album "Legacy Of Hate And Lust. It's safe to say that if you didn't like that album, you won't like this one either. But if you did like that album, you will like this album. The first song "You Know Where To Put It" is slow and funky similar to newer Sister Machine Gun material. It's out of place for LeŠther Strip. But the album picks up after this song with more traditional LeŠther Strip material that is dark, angry, and depressing. All of the music here is fairly slow and mellow. Nothing really rocks. But there are a few songs that do have their moments. But every song is extremely catchy. Some are of course better than others, but nothing is really bad here. The vocals are slightly distorted, the electronics are catchy, the synths are haunting, and the drum beats are constant.

Album: "Legacy Of Hate And Lust" (1995)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 11

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This album is quite a change of pace for Claus Larsen. The songs found here are extremely dark, moody, and gothic. The synths take center stage creating haunting melodies. The electronics and drum machines create extremely catchy rhythms and beats. Claus' vocals are only slightly distorted, and sing with harmony. The overall album is very melodic. Most of the songs found here are medium paced. This isn't typical Leæther Strip material. This is the most polished work Claus has ever produced. I personally like this album a lot because it's a change of pace from traditional Leæther Strip. If you disliked Leæther Strip in the past because Claus was too aggressive, give this album a listen.

Album: "Underneath The Laughter" (1994)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 9

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

This album has a slightly different sound to it than previous Leæther Strip albums. The synths are more up front this time playing right along side the electronics and drum beats. The vocals are even more distorted than usual. The beats and rhythms are very catchy. Samples are used even more, and are mixed all throughout the music. I guess the album has more of a polish to it. All of the songs here are typical Leæther Strip material with dark and moody styles in each of them. If you're a Leæther Strip fan, this is another great album to add to your collection.

 

Album: "Fit For Flogging" (1993)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 12

C

Reviewed by: Darklight

I would say that this album seems a bit harder and more aggressive than "Solitary Confinement". The songs found here are a bit louder, more repetitive, and angrier. But it's still trademark Leæther Strip all the way. The electronics and drum beats drown out the synths, and the vocalsare even more screaming mad than before. But there is a lot of variety to be found here. There are a couple of instrumentals such as "Law Of Jante" and "The Nature Of God". There are also a couple of slow paced songs such as "Cast Away", "Break My Back", and "Khomeini". This is another great album by Leæther Strip.

Album: "Solitary Confinement" (1993)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 12

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

Leæther Strip is a one man band. Claus Larsen is the talented individual responsible for all of the music and vocals found here. The music is very dark and moody, but fast paced and aggressive as well. There are goth style sounds created with synths playing in the background, while fast paced electronic rhythms and drum beats take center stage with Claus' angry distorted vocals. There are some samples in the music as well. Each song has its own groove, but nothing sounds too different. This album is packed full of great songs from start to finish.