Dog Leather: Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks on Tarantula Hill
Published: March 30, 2011
Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks on Tarantula Hill
The problem is that two great tastes don’t always go great together. As DJ Dog Dick, westside noise auteur Max Eisenberg creates hissing collage manifestos that howl in the face of dance-floor cool and stripper-pole booty bounce, beat music for people who don’t flock to whatever DJ night is supposedly hot right now. As Sewn Leather, Griffin Pyn churns out an electro assault that is as noted for its barely contained affront as for its sneak attack of genuine hooks. Both skirt the distant fringes of commercial pop and borrow just enough of its superficial pleasures to hot-wire it into something more individual, unique, and undeniably, irreverently human.
Eisenberg and Pyn have now teamed up as the duo Dog Leather, and the result is less underground super-group than missed opportunity. On Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks on Tarantula Hill, their Ehse debut, Eisenberg and Pyn make strange bedfellows of dub and hip-hop, only not in that interesting of a way. It sounds almost as if during the collaboration each so trusted the other’s opinion that no decisions were made. The result is almost 26 minutes of charisma-free beat tapestries searching for ideas with which to support themselves.
That’s not to say the album’s bad, just curiously void of personality—coming from two musicians with plenty to spare. “The Walker” introduces the album with a long hallway of echoing tones and an aqueous wash, which the ear reads as a journey to some other realm, but come “Troll Spray,” Dog Leather is concocting the sort of nonsensical ectoplasmic white-boy pseudo hip-hop that has scraped the bottom of the indieground rap barrel for the past decade. The background production stirs up a haunted house of shrieks and frights, staples of early 1990s horrorcore, and the modest dub pastiche going on doesn’t alter that impression much.
Worse are the genuine misfires—such as the low-rent glitchcore of “Gunky Monks” or the Jackofficers-sophomoric “Goblin Massacre”—that feel like mere blueprints for tracks. And they wouldn’t sound so undernourished were it not for “Do Gleat Her,” the album’s oddity: a moment where Eisenberg’s gift for Frankensteining sounds into something intoxicating folds itself around Pyn’s ability to find melodies in unlikely spaces.
That it’s a genuinely blunted prog-dub head swirl is the cherry on top: You wouldn’t expect these two cats to be capable of something so delicate, and yet it feels transcendentally natural. But it’s the lone time on Greezy Man when the duo doesn’t feel like it’s playing fast and loose with inside jokes or babies-with-machine-guns snickering about with noises.
Dog Leather plays an acoustic set at a free listening party at True Vine Record shop March 31 at 9 p.m. and a CD-release show April 2 at STR8 CAVIN’ with Dope Body, Lil Ugly Mane, and guests. Visit ehserecords.com for more details.
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