Landing Strip | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Landing Strip

Landing Strip

Jake Leger is a sex machine. At least, that's what he's trying to convince you on this debut by his new duo with drummer (and girlfriend) Keriann Hansen.


Leger already has an extensive Squirrel Hill pedigree in noisy indie rock, from the example of his older brother Noah (Hurl/Speaking Canaries) to his own cataclysmic skin-pounding in the storied Karl Hendricks Rock Band and emo-punkers Pikadori. Hansen, too, logged years in post-riot grrl-duo Curses & Kisses. But here, Leger reinvents himself as charismatic wild-boy frontman and guitar hero, stretching the duo's limited instrumental palette to encompass Blues Explosion whomp ("The Wizard"), low-end Melvins sludge ("The Jockey"), and Guided By Voices lo-fi pop ("He's Like a Girl").


But both because of Hansen's Bonhamesque kit reverberations and cowbell banging and Leger's fantastically obtuse lyrics ("as above, so below / seen through the eyes of the blackest crow / he does not reap, he does not sow" in "The Druid"), an obvious comparison is the White Stripes. It's as if the implied sexual tension of "are they or aren't they" Meg and Jack were released in an orgasmic fireball, resulting in such self-referential snatches of grungy glory as "Coitus," "Whore Explosion" and "Celebrity Sex Tape" (wherein the pair imagine themselves as Pamela and Tommy).


Alicia Ledden's illustration leaves no doubt as to exactly what a "landing strip" is. But if that isn't clear enough to rankle any feminists older than the fourth wave, the duo tosses away any remaining shreds of PC-ness with a blatant quote from The Nuge on "Deaf in the Left." Unless you're allergic to big, loud rock in general, this is one local CD that will surely give you Cat Scratch Fever.


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