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Digital Leather

Warm Brother

(Fat Possum; US: 29 Sep 2009; UK: 29 Sep 2009)

There’s this album, and it’s by a band called Digital Leather, aka Shawn Foree. The album cover features a Nazi gay slur written across the bare chest of a guy who looks like a cross between Ernest Hemingway and Dick Butkus. Foree claims he recorded the album under heavy does of acid and whatnot in “a big-ass house converted into a studio” with a slew of vintage synths and old guitars. Sounds like the making of a provocatively tasteless exercise in garage rock and synth punk, no? Unfortunately, what could have been fun and irreverent ultimately feels a bit tedious and faceless. The kitschy “Kisses” works reasonably well, and Foree manages some humorous lyrics here and there, but his songwriting and side trips into noise come off as wholly average. Foree’s flat sing-speak delivery requires more interesting and less-predictable arrangements than he can seemingly muster or toss-off. Warm Brother is primarily a hollow provocation.

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7 Mar 2012
Comprising a one-man band, Shawn Foree uses drum machines, keyboards and vocals to create a sound that echoes '70s and '80s synthpunk.
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