With Donald J. Trump ensconced in the White House Lecherous Gaze sound like the band for our times. Their sound is certainly a throwback to a more certain time; this is metal before the NWOBHM with Stonesy elements to their sound augmented by surf guitar and a real Detroit made, open top FM radio vibe throughout.
Lecherous Gaze pepper their immediate songs with numerous ear-worm licks choosing to limit their excursions to the three minute mark also known as the perfect single length. The rules of the game are pretty simple then - concise arrangements, punchy riffs and guitar solos on every track. Drum machines are absent, MTV has never happened... What the fuck is the internet? What's not to like in that warm embrace? The only likely impediment is the grot infused larynx of Zaryan Zaidi who sounds like Captain Beefheart with some particularly hardened mucus on the go. Even that feeling though, it is sort of a throwback to people complaining about monster bands they couldn't get into because 'they couldn't get past the singer'. If it happened to Axl Rose, Robert Plant and Geddy Lee you're in good company, no?
The opening three songs rattle by as Lecherous Gaze's hardcore punk roots show in the economy of the song-writing. The Stones pop up on Thing Within in a narrow-eyed Paint It Black vibe, and a virtual epic for this record at five minutes long, "it's the end for you" gurgles Zaidi. Not yet. Dark Nebula serves as an acoustic palette cleanser between side 1 and 2 in the way that Tony Iommi used to include them on Sabbath's early records. They then drift into orbit on the keyboard driven space rocker Malevolent Shroud. Blind Swordsman stands out for the sincerity of the vocal, the tasteful guitar solos and Spanish guitar outro. Garage rock stomper X City closes out One Fifteen in style.
There's plenty to dig about this record (the artwork is sensational by the way) and Lecherous Gaze's approach to being in a band as a whole. The retro leanings are worn firmly and proudly on their sleeve. This is escapism and its fun but it's not a joke. The band will surely hit the road to tour this record and that is surely the place to experience Lecherous Gaze's look backward.