By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
By Steve Weinstein
By Araceli Cruz
Annoying guitarist Piss Promise of NYC's Lesion promises to ram a fist of rock down the throat of fans at Madison Square Garden on the band's 666 DVD. The vow comes with a Hogan's Heroes or Where Eagles Dare clown-German flavor. Piss has it down in high style, but Doktor Gustave Hertz is the favorite of the bunch. He's Klink to Piss's Schultz. Lesion's bass player, Mr. Pod, checks in as a pipe-smoking gentleman with a sweet tooth for overacting hookers. Venison, the drummer, is inexplicable. He talks electrically and mostly unintelligibly through an anodized box meant to convey the vocalizations cancer patients make after they've suffered radical oropharyngeal surgery. Maybe he was stolen from the supporting cast of Lexx or Farscape.
666 is laff-riot low-rent entertainment for stitch Nazis and assorted fans of Teutonic efficiency. There's Hertz getting a massage to the strains of "You Only Live Twice," Piss smoking what's supposed to be Napoleon's pickled dick after it's been appraised on Antiques Roadshow, and Pod on a make-believe Fox-channel dating game. (I would have picked Number 3, Pod; her teeth were scintillating.) Even though pilfering from Alice Cooper and Judas Priest, the video episodes of 666 would alienate the red states where consumers think everyone who sounds like they're from the city and can speak with good diction is a fag or a foreigner to be tied to a pole and flogged. I don't know if Lesion was aiming for bizarre gemütlichkeit and the avuncular good fellowship of four cartoony debauched rock and roll buddies, but that's what's achieved. The DVD box says one of the productions won an award for best-of-something at Arlene's Grocery, but I'd give them all trophies.
Lesion's CDsSlaboratory, You and What Army, and Fantasy Dance Partyoffer raging punk first, quickly moving into crashing hard rock. Rock kultur und kitsch as done by Ami's imitating sour krauts is the genre. Lesion own this field, perhaps started by Alex Harvey or anyone who enjoys being the stagy German host in order to make polite middle-class stupid people tense. "5-Inch Version of a 7-Inch Man," from Fantasy Dance Party, is a great song, sarcastic and glabrous. And they've issued a bunch of singles, too, one of which"He Is the Rock"is the perfect German Christian metal experience. Other numbers, like "You're Gay (But Not Like Homo)" and "Urinal," were big in Sweden. Or was it Niedersachsen? Scheisse, ich vergesse.