For more than eight years, alternative-rock band Leather Bound Crooks has been steadily growing its fanbase with hooky, toothsome guitar licks and memorable vocals. If you’ve seen the hashtag #spreadthelove, that’s likely the Vegas foursome’s doing—peace, awareness and a positive mindset seem to be integral for the group.
In 2017, LBC dropped an EP titled Four Corners. (Check out the video “Always Been” for a taste.) Recorded at Downtown’s 11th Street Records, that song combines elements of punk and emo, a la bands like Unwritten Law, and indie in the style of Silversun Pickups.
Now comprising members Jawaun Barton (rhythm guitar/vocals), Ryan Severin (lead guitar), Jeremy Hartman (bass) and Chris Boloson (drums), Leather Bound Crooks have finished work on first LP Breach, which was written, recorded and produced as a way to deal with Barton’s “trauma, heartache and closure,” he says. “I had a lot to get off my chest. My favorite artist is Conor Oberst, because he always reminds me someone is sadder than I am at the moment, so I guess I’m influenced by that a lot.”
Tracks “On My Way” and “Not You” continue LBC’s inner battle: on one hand, the outfit feels primed for mainstream alt-rock radio, and on the other, the singer’s delivery maintains the band’s position on the fringe.
The band will celebrate its new sound with a joint release party with local blues-rock outfit Damaris, July 12 at 172 inside the Rio. Singer-songwriter Damaris Swails has been writing music under the name Damaris for the past two years, while going to school and working full-time. He unveiled the music video for title track “Bound to Break” on June 28.
“I wanted to release [the album] as fast as I could, but I knew I wouldn’t have been satisfied, so I took my time with it,” Swails said in a Facebook post.
Damaris recently submitted the track “Don’t Tell Me Who” to NPR’s Tiny Desk contest and released Bound to Break digitally on July 3.
Leather Bound Crooks with Damaris, Mojave Sun. July 12, 7 p.m., free. 172, 702-513-3356.