Leaether Strip “AEDM: My Depeche Mode Covers” – album review


There are things in this world that occur every 4 years, like Leap Years, Olympics and new Depeche Mode releases. Lately, Claus Larsen, aka Leaether Strip, has been releasing several DM covers simultaneously with Depeche Mode; this year he decided to release them through his bandcamp as the collection AEDM: My Depeche Mode Covers. While with standard hard and fast Leaether Strip music you would expect “People Are People”, “Masters and Servants” or other more upbeat DM hits, most of the songs on this release are a bit slower, which means you will be treated with covers of songs like “Nothing’s Impossible”, “Blasphemous Rumours” and “Heaven”. Album opens with “Rush”, latest cover which turned out quite synth popish, although it is probably the DM song that can take most EBM punishment. It is followed by the latest DM single “Where’s The Revolution”, greatly layered and executed, and “Black a0599867241_10Celebration”, which delivers hard hits expected from Leaether Strip. Next song “No more (This is the last time)” is the hidden gem of this release. From the start it subtly interweaves with “Fly On The Windscreens” and although it takes just a few lyrics from the latter towards the end, the whole experience is really a treat. Definitely one of the favourites. “If You Want”, although not loud or anything, is the one song on this release that I could see Claus performing live as it has that something to which I can see myself move and that I really think would sound great live. It is followed by “Nothing’s Impossible” which managed to feed on the original’s atmosphere and gloom. The middle of the album is reserved for “In Your Memory”, my absolute favourite, atmospheric and haunting, drawing from the atmosphere of the original and deepened by Claus’s screeching voice. What was said for “If You Want” can be applied to “No Disco” as well. Again, it is a bit minimalistic, but it does have certain live/dancefloor appeal. The most obscure song on this album is “Fools”, originally released by Depeche Mode as the B-side of the single “Love In Itself”; it has the most emotional vocals by far and serves as a reminder of the times when DM B-sides were almost as good as the title singles. “Blasphemous Rumours” is mellow and atmospheric, slightly hardened with great bassline and percussion sounds, making it one of best songs on album. The following song, “Lie To Me”, continues with mellow atmosphere, but although it is all in all good, it has left me wanting something more. The Leaether Strip portion of album is closed with “Heaven”, again one of my favourites. The song is significantly more energetic than original, but it is still true to original. The album closes with “New Dress”, which after first few seconds starts screaming Klutae with its harshness and dirty distorted sound. Once again, Leaether Strip didn’t disappoint. It is difficult to do a cover of any artist, let alone somebody as iconic as Depeche Mode, but, all in all, the performance is really good with enough of unique Leaether Strip touch to both please his fans and not sound like a pure copy.