Leland Yoshitsu was an Japanese-American psych-rock guitarist from San Francisco. He often sported tights, a cape, and black nail polish to shows. Notorious for his untamed attitude and delirious lead guitar, he put out three known records.
Current Release - "Feel The Pain" 2010 (CT-1473) CD
All Vocals and Instruments by LELAND: featuring Days Pass So Slow, Feel The Pain, Don't Leave Me, In Front of You and more…
"Leland" 1976 (no label r-2954)
"This Is My World" 1978 (Contempt r-2954)
This album was recorded in 1975, but it sounds like “new wave. That’s a compliment, as Leland’s music has the same wild spirit and anything goes attitude of the earliest DIY punk records. I’d imagine White Boy (The father-son punk band from DC) fans liking it, for example. Most of these songs have some crazy lead guitar, and the album cover proclaims the music “hard rock,” so it’s not surprising that psych and garage collectors like it. There’s also a synth-heavy ballad with whispered vocals, and a song where the tempo shifts wildly and Leland starts unexpectedly singing falsetto. A few other songs have a cool low-fi garagy feel to them. Leland plays everything but the drums, though I think hiring a bass player might have been a good idea. When he sings it sounds like his throat is bleeding. All in all, very cool. This is more like an EP than an album, by the way, as the 6 songs clock in at 24 minutes. The first press is said to have an extra song from an early single, though I can’t imagine why they’d make the (retitled) second pressing so short if another song was available. The LP was engineered by David Blossom (Fifty Foot Hose).
"Live At Mabuhay Gardens, S.F." 1979 (Contempt r-2965)
Here's one for people who thought the recording quality on "This Is My World" wasn't cheap-sounding enough. It's a mono live album with cavernous echo, barely intelligible vocals and "Sears special"-sounding guitars that play spastically long after the songs should be over. Terry Brooks fans might like it. Since it's live with no overdubs, it lacks the extra texture of the first album's keyboards. I like "This Is My World" a lot, but this one is too anti-melodic and sonically sludgy for me to take. My favorite "song" is the last one, where Leland plays random noise on his guitar, the drummer bangs uncontrollably between guitar bits, and one of the producers asks Leland why he insists on turning his guitar up so loud. This is even shorter than "This Is My World," a mere 16 minutes, about a third of which is guitar noodling.