Leatherbag – Yellow Television

Rating: ★★★☆☆

In the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, back in 2005, lead singer Randy Reynolds relocated to our great city of Austin. Lucky for us he did, because after this, he formed the American Rock band known as Leatherbag. Six years, various changes in the band and multiple albums, later, the band consists of three members: Reynolds, Drew Emmons, and Daniel Blanchard. Together, they craft a classic rock record in Yellow Television, which reflects on the general current state of things in the world.

The first number is dubbed “Imitation Generation” and kicks things off quickly and with the flair that one would expect of Leatherbag. A solid drum beat, angled guitars lead your in what seems calmly, but then it has those yelled catchy choruses with group vocals adding some texture behind Reynolds’ vocals.  As the name already suggests, the song comes off as more of a social comment on the repetition of any creative work by this generation. He remarks that “love is dead and so is rock and roll,” which is a bit grim, but gets the point across that we are in need of a little originality, perhaps to be delivered by this band in some form? It’s a good opening beat, but it isn’t exactly spectacular.

Then Leatherbag transitions to the title track “Yellow TV,” which relies on that catchy chorus to pull you into this band’s style if they hadn’t already. From here on, the rest of the album is relatively similar to these first two songs; which is a double edged sword. There is still the alluring rock style, which at some points reminds me a bit of Ted Leo, on jams like “Waxing Nostalgic.” However, it gets a bit redundant when the beginnings of most of the songs start out in the same way; it gets hard to discern one song from the other. Some are just too similar for their own good and you can get lost on the natural order of this album. That being said, stick around for “Sincerity,” which is ten minutes of bluesy guitar and the variety you’ve been missing up to that point.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid American Rock album. You can find the slightly grunge guitars and the sincerely indelicate vocals that you’d expect as well as some surprising freshness that you wouldn’t.  Albeit, there are some weaker tracks, and it gets a little repetitive at points, but there is still something worth enjoying on Yellow Television.

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