Music

Lecherous Gaze: One Fifteen

Lecherous Gaze continues earning its genre-jumping wings, one hyphen at a time.


Lecherous Gaze

One Fifteen

Label: Tee Pee
US Release Date: 2017-02-10
UK Release Date: 2017-02-10
Amazon
iTunes

Lecherous Gaze doesn’t fall into easy slots. The group is heavy as sin, loud as a country snowplow and as unrefined as Uncle Jess. During this album’s “Thing Within” alone we music lovers are treated to epic metal-cum-surf rock (Ride the Lightning-era Metallica gets down with the Ventures) and sweet, Euro-style guitar lines that recall Michael Schenker’s early, brilliant work with UFO. Throw in a dose or two of righteous rage, and the song serves as the essence of what makes Lecherous Gaze worth your time.

The kind of eclecticism that’s evident there and elsewhere on this record ain’t all that easy to pull off. The bins of your local secondhand MP3 emporium are littered with examples of groups that tried to reach a distant beach but only got sucked under and dragged off into the sea of madness. What makes Lecherous Gaze better than that? Commitment, no doubt. The quintet doesn’t strain to hit these marks nor does it apologize for them. Imagine any other heavy rock band going full Doobie Brothers as heard on “The Day the Earth Caught Fire’s" main riff and you probably imagine a disaster. There’s a little magic twinkle in the aural eyes of Graham Clise and Co. as they move this boogie burner along, then set the whole thing aflame with some Ace Frehley-style guitar toward the end.

“Malevolent Shroud” verges on full-blown space rock and prog in certain moments, with riffs and rhythms twisting and turning in unexpected whirlpools of slam-dunk sound. “Blind Swordsman” is the comic relief ballad but hardly a throwaway for its status. Funny and bizarre, it’s a tale you buy into for better or worse, hanging on until the last note rings out. “X City” kicks with the power and R&B-based vibe of the MC5 at their early peak.

Those new to the Gaze’s way of doing things may find Zaryan Zaidi’s sandpaper vocals a little heavy on the sandpaper, but it’s the perfect sound for when hell’s house band moves in next door and kills all living things for three blocks around. That is epitomized on “Reptile Mind” where Zaidi gives on of his all-time great performances, proving that his style isn’t so much an acquired taste as a taste that you earn while shoving your ears into the heart of a table saw, then repeating until you realize it’s not so bad. “Cosmos Redshift 7”, on the other hand, acts as what may be this record’s most accessible tune. It rocks steady and strong from end to end and shows that Lecherous Gaze can be as easy to listen to as the next bunch of guys from Oakland.

Will Lecherous Gaze change your life? Maybe. Will it change everyone’s? Probably not. But this is music that reveals itself nicely to those who are open-minded enough to imagine that rock ‘n’ roll can make you levitate at the right time and transport you to a place where letting down guards and letting the unexpected wash over you may be the best thing you’ll ever do.

7

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

This film suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Award-winning folk artist Karine Polwart showcases humankind's innate link to the natural world in her spellbinding new music video.

One of the breakthrough folk artists of our time, Karine Polwart's work is often related to the innate connection that humanity has to the natural world. Her latest album, A Pocket of Wind Resistance, is largely reliant on these themes, having come about after Polwart observed the nature of a pink-footed geese migration and how it could be related to humankind's intrinsic dependency on one another.

Keep reading... Show less
Film

Victory Is Never Assured in ‘Darkest Hour’

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (2017) (Photo by Jack English - © 2017 FOCUS FEATURES LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. / IMDB)

Joe Wright's sharp and only occasionally sentimental snapshot of Churchill in extremis as the Nazi juggernaut looms serves as a handy political strategy companion piece to the more abstracted combat narrative of Dunkirk.

By the time a true legend has been shellacked into history, almost the only way for art to restore some sense of its drama is to return to the moment and treat it as though the outcome were not a foregone conclusion. That's in large part how Christopher Nolan's steely modernist summer combat epic Dunkirk managed to sustain tension; that, and the unfortunate yet dependable historical illiteracy of much of the moviegoing public.

Keep reading... Show less
7
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image