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Ear to the Ground: Lecherous Gaze's "Animal Brain" and "On the Skids"

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Many die-hard disciples of J Mascis are, by proxy, familiar with psych-punk quartet Lecherous Gaze, since guitarist Graham Clise happens to be the guitar tech for Dinosaur Jr. But Clise has also played with Mascis in the bands Sweet Apple and Witch. And though both Mascis and Clise share an affinity for turning it up to 11, the latter has a love for all things Plexi. His weapons of choice are a clear 1969 Ampeg Dan Armstrong Plexi guitar and twin Marshall-plexi-driven stacks, and his playing is rife with beefed-up nods to Robin Trower and Mahogany Rush’s Frank Marino.

Fans of Lecherous Gaze’s 2012 debut album, On the Skids, have been waiting in rabid anticipation for this year’s Zeta Reticuli Blues. So far the only preview of the release is a single entitled Animal Brain. The A-side opens with Clise channeling Rory Gallagher channeling Chuck Berry. Following a steroidal “Johnny B. Goode” riff, the song detonates into a sonic sucker-punch that boogies like it was recorded by rockabillies on crack. Frontman Zarian Zaidi’s GG Allin-inspired vocal performance helps keep things wonderfully creepy.

Clise’s own originality as a fretboard shredder comes to life in the B-Side “On the Skids,” a title-track that somehow never made it onto the band’s first album. With a frenzied swirl of muscled riffs, searing leads, and filthy distortion, Clise’s playing here is like the grand finale of a fireworks display in Beirut.


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