Sometimes reviews for an artist that has reached near-legendary status present a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to those as influential as the ever-prolific Leaether Strip. There are the issues of the intensity of the material and that of choosing the words that the material deserves.
But even legends have to take a pause now and again to pay tribute to those who have influenced them and have a little fun. Such is the case here. Leaether Strip returns with Aeppreciation II – a second tribute compilation following-up 2014’s Aeppreciation I. 10 tracks in all. This time, however, Cleopatra is the chosen label for the release.
As is to be expected, Leaether Strip honors the classics while adhering to his own sound. But hands down, the “You Spin Me…” and “Tainted Love” covers are to of the best ones I have heard of those particular songs. A pleasant surprise was the Sex Pistols cover, “Holidays In The Sun.”
Of the many things that Claus Larsen has become a master of over the years his mixing/layering skill particularly shines in this album. If any of you are first-time listeners… Yes.. that really is just one guy. Those background vocals coming from different angles are in fact the same guy. Of course lovers of ebm and 80s covers will surely like all of the tracks on this release.
While Leaether Strip obviously acknowledges those who have influenced his work, it cannot go without mention that we still owe his primary influence our thanks; that being his husband and partner of many years, Kurt. We love Claus for the music but love Kurt for keeping Claus going.
Aeppreciation II is available on CD as well as digital download; A nice gift from Santa Claus Larsen.