Hallo Venray – Leather on My Soul

Hallo Venray – Leather on My Soul


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A double album from the Godfathers of Dutch alternative rock; split into acoustic and electric sections (of the same songs); but enjoying a feeling of freshness due, doubtless to the confident, open-minded approach in arranging this set of songs for two different disciplines.


 


Leather on My Soul kicks off at a fair lick mind; You Lost It and Woman is a splendid opening pair, driven by killer riffs and feedback aplenty. There’s always the feeling of the open road inherent in their music, maybe it’s that endlessly thumping rhythm section… Leather on Their Soul and Circles, Ira and Right to Know keep the pace up, acerbic guitar licks fizz and crackle against a thunderous percussive backdrop. If there’s one criticism then it would be that I’d like some of these riffs to extend over longer than the (seemingly prescribed) 2 minutes. Have they been listening to Revolver? Some Boys sounds a hell of a lot better because it’s longer. Still it’s not really a criticism wanting a song to go on longer, now is it?


 


Things quieten down at times. Henk Koorn has a formidable line in melancholy pop; at times you get the feeling he’s been listening to Hank Williams, such is the “oh, lonesome me” vibe that pervades tracks like Freaky and If We Were Alone.


 


The acoustic section is great too; listening to the two discs back to back is actually the best way to approach the package. Woman could be a Johnny Richman track (maybe it’s the semi-spoken pay offs at the end of each line that Koorn adopts). Somehow the acoustic version is much more charming, more crystalline; (check out Freaky which works much better as an acoustic track). Was the pressure off? Who knows, it works.


 


A tremendous & surprising LP.


 


Words: Richard Foster