Marquee: Digital Leather

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

As bizarre a band as the name Digital Leather implies, I don't know if I was ready for the brain-bending experience of listening to the group's latest, the slur-referencing Warm Brother. (Expect ham-fisted provocation from a band performing self-described "new wave Nazi fag punk.")

Warm Brother sounds innocuous and sinister at once, like the kindly folks that populate secretly menacing small towns in horror movies.

Like David Berman and Jim O'Rourke, Digital Leather's Shawn Foree sings in a deadpan realm of the lower register, spewing jaded laments and misanthropic narratives over his eerily intense production. Keyboards swell into a nauseous haze and blurt clumsy yet catchy themes. Guitars mumble their way across the mechanized beats.

There's a distinct outsider-art feel to the whole enterprise. "Homesick for Terror" sounds like what I assume Columbus electro punching bag Zachery Allan Starkey would sound like on downers before it transforms into a Frogs song.

"Modern Castles" reincarnates Ian Curtis amidst a laser light show of keyboard sounds. There's a trace of Gil Mantera's Party Dream minus the glitz in album closer "Gold Hearts."

Foree's take on romance is most unsettling. "My Fame" delivers zingers like: "Oh, the drama never ends/ I feel like I'm in a pornographic soap opera" and "I'll check your tonsils/ You check my prostate." Earlier, "Kisses" hides the pathos behind something resembling a straightforward love song, but ultimately it's still creepy as hell.

Digital Leather

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20

Where: The Summit, Campus