“Turkish Leather” by Ritual Howls is dark, post-punk, gothic rock the way it was meant to be done. These guys are representing Detroit in the best way imaginable: It is dark, gritty, properly brooding and utterly atmospheric.

I am entirely late to this party, this album has been out since last September and I just listened to it a few weeks ago. Even worse, band member Christopher Samuels has been a buddy for years. I met Bottle Imp’s Metria’s David Cole by way of the pair’s early 00’s industrial, power electronic act di_sect. So I’ve been a fan for over ten years, anyway.

I picked up the vinyl from their label, Felte. Without saying anything else about the album, it is worth noting that this album begs to be played on vinyl. You get the digital version free with the record when you buy from their Bandcamp page, and Felte also sent a fantastic label sampler to download free.

“Turkish Leather” is, as I noted above, rich and atmospheric, and has a very serious early 80’s vibe to it. The composition here is very modern, but the production and tone have all the space and depth of some of the best albums from 1979 to 1983, think Bauhaus or The Cure’s “Pornography”. This isn’t cheap imitation, though, these guys are really rocking it. This is music that sounds like Detroit at night.

“Turkish Leather” is great night time listening, and should be outstanding club music. I’ve been stuck on this album for over a week now, and I don’t see that behavior slowing down any time soon.

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