Emerging from the ashes of celebrated East Bay punk/metal greats Annihilation Time in 2010, Oakland-based band Lecherous Gaze has been refining the band’s kinetic mix of raw garage rock, psych, proto metal and ’80s punk for the past several years. Led by gifted guitarist Graham Clise (who also plays with Dinosaur Jr. six-string legend J. Mascis in the like-minded groups Witch and Heavy Jam), the quartet issued several singles before releasing it’s acclaimed Tee Pee Records debut On the Skids in 2012.
Built around Clise’s ever-inventive riffs and singer Zarayan Zaidi hoarse growl (former Saviours bassist Chris Grande and Annihilation Time drummer Noel Sullivan fill out the crew), songs like album opener “Scorpion” and “Babagazo” recall elements of original NYC gonzo punks The Dictators and high-octane latter-era Jimi Hendrix. Lecherous Gaze’s trashy, headlong onslaught helped earn the quartet a growing fan base. Steady shows played around the Bay Area and across the nation over the past year has raised the band to club headliner status. The band tops the bill at this Tee Pee Records showcase hosted by Eli’s Mile High Club to spotlight songs from their forthcoming second full-length effort Zeta Reticuli Blues set for release mid-June. Picking up where the band’s debut left off, the album scorches through an array of high-octane tunes including electrifying psychedelic juggernaut “New Distortion” and the old-school Chuck Berry referencing rocker “Animal Brain.” The group also delivers an amped-up verision of the often-covered Big Joe Williams blues chestnut “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (AC/DC, Budgie, Gary Glitter, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent have all recorded the track).
Lecherous Gaze will be joined by fellow Tee Pee act and Bay Area hard rockers Hot Lunch. Making noise on local stages since 2006, the veteran group finally released its debut self-titled album last year. Lead singer Eric Shea had previously fronted lauded psychedelic country-rock outfit Mover in the ’90s and propulsive garage-psych band Parchman Farm before teaming with SF guitar hero Aaron Nudelman (Mensclub, Sunless Day), guitarist turned monster drummer Rob Alper and Harold Ray Live in Concert bassist Charlie Karr in the new group. While drawing heavily on the proto-punk/metal sounds of influential groups like the MC5, Blue Cheer and early Alice Cooper, the foursome also pulls in elements of deep psychedelia and progressive rock. The group has stayed busy since releasing their acclaimed eponymous debut album, playing numerous high-profile local shows and issuing several 7-inch singles, one for Australian imprint Tym Records, a second Converse split single with fellow SF psych crew Golden Void and most recently the Sweet Times compilation single for Who Can You Trust? featuring similar bands Glitter Wizard, Dirty Fences and Ovvl. Pittsburgh, PA-based outfit Carousel (whose Tee Pee debut Jeweler’s Daughter nods to the explosive twin-guitar attack of Thin Lizzy and classic Judas Priest) and local band Banquet also appear.