Lecherous Gaze - On the Skids (CD)
Catalog number: TPE-147-2
Somewhere along the line, bands have to make a decision to wear their influences on their sleeve or delve into the dangerous and complicated world of innovation. Oakland’s Lecherous Gaze have made up their minds in favor of the former, and that is not a bad thing, because they apparently only listen to music that kicks ass. On the Skids is not likely to receive much national media coverage, which is a shame, because it is one of the best pure rock-and-roll releases of the year.
The reasons for this achievement are plentiful. The aspect which is most upfront are the snarling, vicious vocals, which harken to a strung out, somehow even meaner Iggy Pop from his Stooges days. On songs like “Ravenous” and “Frustrated” the listener can almost see the drunken scowl being projected onto the music. “Ravenous” might in fact be the best song on the album, a raucous head-banger that could throw the most sober teetotaler off the wagon. The song contains everything that Lecherous Gaze does well: riffs that somehow simultaneously reference Black Sabbath and Chuck Berry at the same time, varnish-peeling vocals, and a pretty awesome guitar solo.
Retro-bands generally have a tough-time, always walking a tightrope above the dangerous canyon of being needlessly derivative or irrelevant in the face of a constant stream of new music. Fortunately for Lecherous Gaze, they don’t drown in their influences, but rather use them as a spring-board for making a memorable and fun rock-and-roll album. In a year heavy on pop-infuence, On The Skids is a refreshing breath of grimy, beer-soaked air.