Lecherous Gaze – One Fifteen“I hope this is one you’re reviewing and you didn’t actually buy it,” said my fiancée less than thirty seconds into this album. Why? I won’t spoil it so early on, but if ever a band’s sound suited their name, the sleazy, leering proto-punk of Bay-area throwbacks Lecherous Gaze would fit the bill. These lechers have been around since 2010, but it wasn’t until they enlisted the “vocals” of Zaryan Zaidi in 2012 that they really became cringeworthy. One Fifteen is the band’s third album, and it promises to be an slice of snappy, high-energy rock in the vein of bands like the New York Dolls and MC5, and along the lines of the newer retro garage bands like Valient Thorr. Promises are often made to be broken, though…

The title track kicks things off with a surf-punk style and a diddling riff. It’s not the best song on the album, but it does have some good lead licks courtesy of Graham Clise and a very genuine feel to it all. Musically, one can hear the talent. The band is tight, with bass player Chris Grande and drummer Noel Sullivan laying down a solid, up-tempo foundation throughout. They’re a busy pair but their style fits the music. “Reptile Minds” opens with a super-cool 70s riff and the song rolls along with enthusiasm, as do most of the cuts. Musically Lecherous Gaze are like a guilty pleasure, bordering on cheesy in their earnest take on the rock of yore.

With song titles like “Cosmos Redshift 7,” “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” “X City,” and the uber-cool Frank Frazetta cover art, I expected the lyrics to follow a sci-fi theme. I think they do, but I can’t really tell, and it’s the biggest problem with the album, a problem that will make it or break it for many people. Singer (and I use the term loosely) Zaryan Zaidi has such a hoarse, cackling, grating sneer that his voice makes Lemmy sound like Pavarotti. Sadly, I fall in the “break it” camp, and Zaidi’s voice makes me want to force my head through a brick wall while a group of schoolchildren drag their fingernails down chalkboards.

Lecherous Gaze 2017

This is a sad thing because I love me some olde rock. I’ve got plenty of MC5, The Stooges, and New York Dolls albums buried in my collection, and they do get dusted off every now and again. “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” has such a great riff it could be pulled from any of these albums, and I know for a fact if David Johansen or Iggy Pop were singing, it would slay. “Thing Within” and “Blind Swordsman” are such fun songs that are completely ruined by Zaidi, who sounds like he’s been smoking, drinking, and throwing up for about 45 years, that it actually makes me wonder if I’m the one who’s out to lunch – and how bad at singing the rest of Lecherous Gaze must be.

A producer I had the pleasure of working with and learning from once said the three key ingredients to a great song are the song, the song, and the song. I don’t know if he made it up himself, but he had clearly never heard a singer like this before. I don’t think even the greatest songs would be enough to save Zaidi from himself, and while the cuts on One Fifteen are good, with a lot of style, good feel, great energy, and some top-notch licks, they just can’t overcome the vocals. Musically, this is a 3.5 for me, but vocally a 1, hence the rating you see below. Decide for yourself if the vocals make or break it. If you can handle it, Lecherous Gaze might be the band for you.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Tee Pee Records
Websites: lecherousgaze.bandcamp.com | lecherousgaze.blogspot.ca | facebook.com/lecherousgaze
Releases Worldwide: February 17th, 2017

Share →
  • I haven’t heard such a crippling vocal performance since Blaine “the Pain” Cook completely derailed the last Denial Fiend album.

    • Reese Burns

      Chris Barnes would like a word with you. But for real though, it’s weird that you mention Denial Fiend, the first time I thought of them since their review was yesterday when I played some of their stuff to a buddy for shits and giggles.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Hadn’t heard this band before but listened to a couple tracks out of sheer curiousity. This singer’s definitely wretched. “Crippling” is the right word to describe him. You shouldn’t try to sing if you’re that wasted. Gonna be a fun band to play for my friends for comedic purposes.

    • [not a Dr]

      Upvoted because Blaine derailed. (Probably into the clearing at the end of the path)

      • DrewMusic

        And that is the truth.

  • Handy Donut Hole

    Nope. I can’t handle it.

  • Dr_Fisting

    This guy sounds awesome, I don’t see what all the complaining is about.

    • Zaryan Zaidi is your secret identity, isn’t it?

      • Dr_Fisting

        I thought I was supposedly the guy from that band we reviewed last week?

        • You as much an enigma as Lady Gaga!

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            You realize Lady Gaga was NOT made a full time member of Metallica, do you?

          • She’s like the 5th Beatle, but with Metallica.

          • Reese Burns

            I was hoping for a Metallica fifth member joke, since that’s what they call their fan club members… not that I’d know… I’m not a member of the Metallica fan club..

          • Uh huh….

          • Huck N’ Roll

            The fifth Meatle?

          • [not a Dr]

            I thought that was Kirk…

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Does that mean she gets to join Beatallica too?

          • [not a Dr]

            Who would her Beatles-epoch equivalent be? Maybe Steel Druhm still remembers…

          • Carl Redfern

            Damn youse guy crack me up

      • DrewMusic

        There is no Zaidi, only Dr. Fisting.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Can’t tell if you’re joking or not, but I agree. The singing is awesome in it’s own peculiar deranged way.

      • Berit Dogg

        I like it too. Woof woof! It’s a new thing.

  • Alexandre Barata

    I quite like it. It sounds like fun!

  • Grymm

    …What the hell is he even saying?! Jeeeeeezus.

  • Only heard one track, but those vocals are quite insane. They certainly aren’t technically great vocals, but I’ve heard vocals that annoy me way more than this. At least it gives some sort of individuality to what would otherwise sound like a retro cover band.

  • I.B. Hurtin

    I’ll take this dude over Brian Johnson or Axl Rose any day of the week.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Don’t give Angus Young any ideas.

      • Berit Dogg

        THAT’S what that Animal-fronted band would sound like. It would be awesome!

    • Tofu muncher

      agree on the latter

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I can’t help listening to this guy singing and picturing it’s Animal, the drummer from The Muppets singing.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Nice cover art. Is that an actual Frazetta painting?

    • madhare

      It is.

  • Took me three albums, but I’m finally kind of onboard with the vocals. Or, at least, used to them enough to love the music. I miss Annihilation Time a ton, and while I wouldn’t cry if this singer took off too, I’ll take what I can get!

  • Shane R

    I think he’s trying to channel Lemmy, but not succeeding to any great degree.

  • Wilhelm

    Vocalists like Lemmy and Axl had weird scratchy vocals, but there was a charm to it. This guy just can’t sing, he sounds like he had 20 beers and a carton of cigs before recording his vocals.

    • [not a Dr]

      And he didn’t bother unwrapping the cigarrettes or the beer before he smoked them all.

    • Reese Burns

      To be fair though, before recording his vocals, I’m sure Lenny would have at least 20 beers and a pack of smokes too. Maybe this guy just hasn’t smoked/drank enough…

  • Berit Dogg

    “makes me wonder… how bad at singing the rest of Lecherous Gaze must be”. That’s a sobering thought.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I kind of like it. That’s not okay, is it…?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      It’s either OK or we’re both wrong.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      I hereby relinquish my rights to review their next album. It’s all yours!

      • Ferrous Beuller

        Woah – steady on there!

  • DrewMusic

    The vocals are like an unholy merging of Chad Grey, Dez Fafara and Brann Dailors worst moments. That being said, the review had me waiting for the dude from Ghost Bath to start wailing over the ridiculously fun and shameless instruments, I was prepared for a lot worse.

  • madhare

    I feel kind of insulted that one of my favourite Frazetta paintings has ended up on the cover of such a bad album. :(

  • Tofu muncher

    awaiting a unicorn lecherously gazing in my general direction

  • Excentric_13073

    I feel like the singer is stuck in the wrong genre. Some black metal band needs to give this guy a call.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Vocalist Sounds kinda like he’s got something stuck in his throat, although I really didn’t find it nearly as unbearable as the review presented it. At least he was actually singing.

  • contenderizer

    Gah, tried with this band a couple years back. Singer is ear poison.

  • Thatguy

    The singer is horrible, but I’ve enjoyed worse. It’s the 1970’s boogie band feel that makes me never want to hear this again.

  • scarletspider

    They were better as Annihilation Time