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LEATHER NUN America (Kult Occult) CD

There is no denial. I really love Leather Nun America. And if you would listen to the first few riffs after the introductional sample in 'Murderkkult' you do not need to ask why. These guys got the groove. The groove that could apply to all the riff rockers and stoners but that has the typical trademarks of what is known as Maryland Doom. We all know what that means. We are not talking about slow like shit, sad as hell music. And do not get the album title or the goat head on the cover as a hint that the Nun follows the patch of trendy occult 70s heavy rock now. We talk about a very good dose of Rock that is filled with that certain melacholia and anger. And that is where the Nun is at. 'Kult Occult' is their third full-length for Psychedoomelic Records and if you know (and hopefully love) the first two, you will not be surprised by the music. Leather Nun America stick to their style and they do it for a good reason. These days there is hardly a band doing such a good job when it comes to that style of music. Especially for a band not located in Maryland at all. 

The first track 'Murderkkult' and the second one 'Indra' are groovy Doom rockers that you would expect from the band. The Obsessed once again is all over it but filtered through the ideas and hands of John Sarnie. There seems to be a little less melody in the riffs here and there, compared to previous works, so one could think that their tour with fellow labelmates and similar-but-different-in-style Doom rockers Iron Hearse has left a bit of a mark on the boys from California. But in the end it is just a slight modification and no real change in sound. The psychedelic folk song 'Lasting Dose' then shows a nod to a more 70s direction, but the Nun has done that before as well. But that song is so good, it grabs my mind and makes it wander. Well, it should not wander to far cause next up we get a slight dose of punky riffs and vocals in 'White Horse', mosty probably sung by bassist Noel. So it is time to move the head again. This is Noel's only song as lead singer on this album. 

I cannot help but think of Spirit Caravan, where Sherman got a few songs to sing every now and then as well. But I am okay with both, even though I like John Sarnie's vocals better. That man is gifted. He has that certain something that one needs to play this music. Not only does he write great riffs and songs, the man can deliver soul with both his voice and his guitar playing. There are incredibly soulful moments in his leads every now and then that will make many guitarists sit and listen in awe. Not to mention his skills writing something simple but really great sounding on the acoustic guitar as well. 'Damiana' connects both that great "acoustic simplicity" and the lead guitar magic. The album ends with a not really doomy track called 'Leadcatcher'. This is a heavy rocking instrumental with quite a few Motorhead-like riffs. I think Noel's voice might have worked great with that as well but the track is also a real highlight without vocals. So, I guess I do not need to tell anyone anymore that this album is a total must have and definitely one of my highlights of 2011. 

(Thorsten Frahling)