Leatherjacks started out as a one man band in the shape of Mauro Cordeiro, who, not willing to trust his music to a stranger, decided to produce an ‘80s nostalgic, modern rock album all by himself. In order to achieve this in his home town of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he spent two years learning the art of audio production, before writing, recording and producing his first album, ‘The Arks of Rock and Roll’ by playing all the instruments himself.
After a year’s graft, the album appeared in April 2017, and Mauro set about putting together a band to promote it. Bringing in Arthur Inacio (Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals) and Dan Werneck (Drums and Backing Vocals) he formed a powerhouse threesome, and released the follow up single ‘I Hate to Fall in Love’ at the end of 2017.
The album has turned out pretty much as it says on the tin. It has a metal edge to it with throwbacks to the classic rock sound of the eighties. Smatterings of Iron Maiden, Van Halen and Judas Priest fill the tracks with the smell of denim and leather.
‘People’ starts us off with a fierce bassline, and piercing guitar, it’s hard to believe this is the work of just one man, as Mauro blends all the pieces together to produce one smooth rock track. A touch of Rudolf Schenker riff kicks us into ‘Crocodiles Heart’, an AOR hair metal tribute, building us up to the first single from the album, ‘Burning Wire’. If you watch the video, it does seem strange watching one man producing so much sound. But hats off to the man, no one has worked so hard on their own since Jeff Lynne reworked ELO’s ‘Out of The Blue’ by playing all the instruments and producing it himself, no mean feat!
The bands namesake ‘Leatherjacks’ is a hard driving rhythmic affair, and do I detect a bit of cowbell in the middle to encourage some hand clapping? No eighties album would be complete without a ballad, so ‘Emotions on Sale’ slows us down briefly, but Mauro can’t resist throwing in a fast riff or two, before breaking out into a sweet simple solo.
I can’t help picturing Joey Tempest singing ‘The Slammer’ instead of ‘Final Countdown’, as we get taken into a sci-fi throwback tale of aliens and spaceships, although it describes an invasion rather than an exodus of Earth. Complete with an Eddie Van Halen speed solo, the nostalgia just keeps coming. The next track of the album is a criticism of society, and the establishment, and questions what actually is normal these days? ‘Do you Fucking Pay my Bills’ is a fast paced, melodic, protest song.
Another quirk from the eighties was the instrumental track, usually thrown in so the vocalist can have a break during live shows. So not really sure what the point is of ‘Motocross’ on this album, timing in at under two minutes, it’s more an extended solo than an instrumental!
In fact the intro to the final album track ‘The Lost Arks of Rock and Roll’ feels almost as long. It’s another easy to listen to, riff heavy, rock tune, not really pushing any boundaries of the rock genre, but just following in the tyre tracks of previous juggernauts.
All in all, ‘The Lost Arks of Rock and Roll’ achieves what it set out to do. One man’s dream to produce a hard rock album that pays tribute to the big classic rock sound of the eighties, and I must congratulate Mauro on his hard work and dedication to this cause. He has produced an easy to listen to, melodic album, but, I think in order to give a bit of variation, there needs to be some input from a third party, either in the song writing or performance. It will be interesting to see how this album is transferred into a live show and taken on the road.
People(We’re Chosen Ones)
Emotions on Sale
Do You Fucking Pay My Bills?
Album Written, Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Mauro Cordeiro.
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