Presenting: the Leathers

Presenting: the Leathers:

“We’re really shy,” says Devin Atherton. He’s one half of the Leathers, a carnivorous cowhide-clad rap duo who are consuming the underbelly of Canada’s hip hop culture. Shy couldn’t be less accurate. Search You Tube and you’ll find the duo dancing to Spandau Ballet, with Atherton making sweet love to a box of wine and the Leathers’ other half, PBrian, staring creepily into the camera with chest hair that would rival Chubacca. They’ll grace the Western Front tonight with their custom gear, choreographed dance moves, and beats that are unrelenting, full of big drums and splice guitar riffs. Think Tom Green meets the Beastie Boys.

“We can really poke fun of ourselves, and we always have that humor edge,” Atherton says. “But we’re from Canada, and for the most part, Canadians are insecure… all we have is hockey, maple syrup and not being American.”

America’s ugly step sister might have more than that. The Leathers are gaining fans stateside and have already completed a coast-to-coast tour. They’ve been showcased in CMW and Northeast-by-Northeast, performing with Subtle, Brother Ali, Sage Francis and Cunninlynguists. For any rapper coming out of Canada, that’s not bad.

Atherton says Peterborough, Ontario, has a budding hip hop scene, but not big enough to draw most acts to venture out across the vast, largely rural, country. So while the novelty of the duo’s act might seem like a gimmick, it’s doing a lot to set themselves apart from mainstream or underground American rappers. Of course, having decent rhymes doesn’t hurt either.

“I’m an entertainer first and foremost,” says Atherton, “But when you go out and buy the CD and you have it in your hand and you play it, I want people to say, wow, these guys are saying something, there’s more to it once you peel back the leather.”

Live @ Western Front

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.

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