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10 Vegas acts to watch in 2016: Leather Lungs

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Leather Lungs
Photo: Spencer Burton

“We play music that makes us want to drink.” That’s how singer and bassist Lafayette Kartchner describes Leather Lungs, the loud, heavy-hitting three-piece at the forefront of Las Vegas’ garage-rock scene. “And it makes other people want to drink.” So much so, that Kartchner suggests a disclaimer for its music: “We are not responsible for how people act when we play.”

On top of opening for Ty Segall and later Thee Oh Sees at Beauty Bar and Meatbodies at the Bunkhouse—and getting barred from playing Artifice, Kartchner says, for playing too loud—Leather Lungs have become regulars on the local house-show circuit in Vegas. It can get pretty wild. “You’ll have like, 150 people there, and all the neighbors are hanging out on the walls and asking us for autographs and stuff,” Kartchner laughs. “It’s [mostly] a bunch of angry, underage, punk teenagers, [but] they’re super-supportive.”

Since forming three years ago from the ashes of Restless Suns, Leather Lungs has continued honing in on fast, eardrum-blowing rock, much of it inspired by Kartchner’s fascination with horror films and Stephen King novels. The band released two digital EPs, Leather Lungs Are Humans Too and Live From Chris’ Kitchen, one week apart in December, and plans to release another once its done tracking four more songs. “We seriously write so much,” Kartchner says. “Since we do record it all ourselves, we take advantage of it.” leatherlungs.bandcamp.com

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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