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Hot Leather @ The Pharmacy

January 22, 2018

IMG_7950.jpgText and images by Andy Polhamus.

Hot Leather, the musical project of Boise area-based meme artist Clyde Webb, brought a caffeine-fueled display of millennial angst to Philadelphia for the first time Jan. 13 at The Pharmacy.


Tomorrow is my first Philadelphia show!!

A post shared by Hot Leather (@kornfan420) on


In a 20-minute set, Hot Leather, which consists of Webb armed with nothing but a couple of pedals and a YamahaQY700 sequencer, burned through a string of synth-pop masterpieces sweet enough to make even the most jaded listener pine for the days of MySpace.

“I like lots of dumb things. They’re corny, but good,” said Webb, 25, who first rose to popularity on Instagram with the meme page kornfan420.

His songs, like his memes, convey a bitter suburban ennui familiar to anyone who grew up on Mountain Dew and Doritos. Trashy pop culture references abound on Hot Leather’s debut LP, Do You Remember Your Friends, which rapid-fires an avalanche of weird sex, shamelessly juvenile humor and a disarmingly sincere portrait of depression, all in a series of perfect pop songs. Over the course of 16 tracks clocking in at well under half an hour, the listener is transported to an alternate universe where Hellogoodbye opted out of love songs and switched to pop-punk tunes about being too sad to commit suicide and eating trash.

“I was conceived at a Meat Loaf concert/I was congealed in a sewer full of vomit/I was raised by a television,” Webb sings in the album’s opener, “Congealed.”

The longest song on the album is a paltry two minutes.

“All my songs are a minute long, and if they go over a minute, I’m like, god, is this ever going to end?” Webb said. “I just love writing catchy music. Why write anything if it’s not going to be super catchy?”

Still, even on an album where he expresses an insane wish to house his soul in a city of Juggalos when he dies, Webb shows a striking earnestness. His sister drowned in an accident when he was 13, and he’s been plagued by anxiety and depression since adolescence. His darker lyrics waste no time with metaphors; in several songs he states outright that he’s too unwell to function.

“I’m pretty sure depression is always going to be a part of my life,” he said.
But it’s not all nihilism and despair. Underneath his candy-coated chord changes, Webb revels in the tiny blips of joy that break up a monochrome landscape of depression.

“When we met in Seattle was the best weekend of my life,” Webb sings on his shockingly romantic ode to video chat, “Facetime.”



Webb played a second Philly show at a house venue before moving on to Boston. He was planning a move to Los Angeles, set for February. Hot Leather was born with a small built-in following from the meme page, and although he lost some followers when he pivoted to music, Webb had enough support to play a series of one-off shows scattered across the country.

“Generally, if you do anything online, people are going to hate you no matter what you do,” he said. “But people wouldn’t be into it if it wasn’t at least kinda good.”

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