Buddha Knievel

Leather Nun

LEATHER NUN, also known as LEATHER NUN AMERICA, are a band from California, USA, formed […]
By Andrew Sifari
May 17, 2015
Leather Nun - Buddha Knievel album cover

LEATHER NUN, also known as LEATHER NUN AMERICA, are a band from California, USA, formed in 2003. They waste not the lessons of their late 70s/early 80s influences, playing a satisfying blend of 80s Metal and Stoner Rock on their newest LP, "Budda Knievel".

"Buddha Knievel" is an interesting album to listen to because of its varying, yet cooperating sensibilities. On one hand, you can hear the slow-burning, dazed-for-days buzz of bands like THE SWORD (who are actually a very good sonic reference point for this band), and this forms the basis of their rolling grooves, as can be heard on the spirited "Warwolf". However, a solid amount of the melodies and moods present on the album are derived from more traditional Heavy Metal. The delicate "Prologue" opens with a note of quiet foreboding before leading into the twin guitar harmonies of "Into Abyss". The guitar tone is very warm and fuzzy, yet still clearly defined and isolated from the other instruments. Combined with the vocalist's breathy delivery, the album hits the listener like a warm breeze, but is certainly not lacking for attitude.

"Barghest" chugs forth at an energetic pace that reminds somewhat of THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN, while "Irish Steel" exudes a subtle, but steady confidence in its finger-snapping beats, big riffs, and working-class sentiments. On the other side, "Bourgeois Pig" finds the band in a more pensive and personal mood, rising and falling with the tides of change before burning hot with conviction towards the song's end. "Interlude", a two-minute instrumental at the album's midway point, is a nice piece of music by itself, but it doesn't feel as effective as it could be placed ahead of the more straightforward rock of "Burning Village", rather than inserted in/before one of the lower key songs, or something of the sort.

The album closes strong, with songs like the smoldering "Priestess" and "Winter Kill" showing the extent of the band's musical reach while also just being very entertaining. What's great about "Buddha Knievel" is that while these guys clearly aren't trying to rewrite the Metal/Rock rulebook, they make a great use of their foundation to push out and make music that has personality, rather than trying to be a certain "kind" of band.

Musically, fans of THE SWORD, KYUSS, and the like will be pleased, but any fans of solid, Heavy Rock with great hooks and an overall mellow approach are recommended to give "Buddha Knievel" a listen.

8 / 10


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"Buddha Knievel" Track-listing:

1. Prologue
2. Into Abyss
3. Warwolf
4. Bourgeois Pig
5. Interlude
6. Burning Village
7. Barghest
8. Priestess
9. Gloom
10. Winter Kill
11. Irish Steel

Leather Nun Lineup:

Francis - Bass
Sergio - Drums
John - Guitars, vocals

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