A Tuesday night may seem like an unlikely candidate for an old-school metal/rock and roll show, but that didn’t seem to stop the Ten Eleven from hosting a superb show on March 22nd that featured Ohio classic metallers Danava, California rock-and-rollers Lecherous Gaze (not to be confused with Lecherous Nocturne, who are touring with Rotting Christ), local doom/punk act Ovaryaction, and stoner rock/metal act House of Broken Promises. While not the typical kind of show we would be reviewing here, it was just too good to not discuss.
The show kicked off at around ten, and the first act, House of Broken Promises, got things off to the right start. The band sounded like a mix of Kyuss (which makes sense given as how a few members were in Unida with former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia) and later-period Metallica, which sounded much better in execution than it does on paper. The band’s vocalist/bassist bore an eerie resemblance to Metallica’s James Hetfield circa 1998, not just in vocal style (lots of “YEA-UH”s), but also in the form of his short hair and goatee. Their guitar player churned out lots of great, fuzzy riffs while the drummer handled the percussion with thundering presence. There was a pronounced Kirk Hammett influence in the guitar solos which were soaked in wah-wah effects, which actually worked quite well in the context of the songs. The last song owed a heavy debt to “Blues for the Red Sun”-era Kyuss with its main riff, which was quite catchy. Ultimately, House of Broken Promises was a great way to initiate the festivities, and while they aren’t close to the stuff we usually cover in this column, they’re certainly worth checking out.
The next act to play was quite strange indeed. The cleverly-named Ovaryaction was quite a sight to behold with their female guitarist who wielded a pink, heart-shaped guitar and their female vocalist, whose unique high-pitched vocals brought Minnie Mouse to mind. Musically, Ovaryaction played punk rock with a bizarre hint of doom metal, as evidenced by the guitar tone and slower sections of certain songs. The vocalist did not perform on the stage of the Ten Eleven, but rather amongst the crowd, which certainly made it easier to pay attention! The distortion on the guitars was very reminiscent of Saint Vitus being covered by the Ramones, while the drums mostly kept to standard punk beats, except for the aforementioned slower riffs. Ovaryaction were certainly one of the most interesting bands of the night, and if doomy punk rock with a high-pitched female vocalist is your thing, checking them out would be recommended.
California rock and roll band Lecherous Gaze was up next, and their set was quite entertaining, with shades of punk and classic metal intertwined with classic rock. Lecherous Gaze played a high-energy set with lots and lots of guitar playing, with their guitarist favoring chords that utilized a more high-end sound as opposed to simple power chords. The bass took an interesting role as well, playing with passion that served the songs well. The vocalist was very good at stage presence, entertaining the crowd and praising the fact that so many people came out to witness a real rock and roll show on a Tuesday night, which is certainly commendable. The band’s “classic rock meets punk” was well-received by the crowd, and the band responded with gratitude. Since Lecherous Gaze were completely new to this reporter, song titles were an enigma, but I can safely say that every song contained nothing but old-school rock and roll. There were no slower moments of balladry, which was quite a relief, but raw rock with the passion of seventies hard rock bands. The band finished in one final blaze of glory, and then it was time to witness Danava.
By the time Danava took the stage, the Ten Eleven was absolutely packed, probably the fullest this reporter has ever seen. This is especially impressive given the fact that it was a Tuesday night and the vast majority of attendees had work or school in the morning. Nonetheless, the band delivered a killer set of old-school heavy metal with some absolutely outstanding bass work. You would think you would have stepped into a time machine back to the seventies as the band kick-started their first song, which featured some intense guitar playing and lots of harmonized guitars. The influences of bands like Thin Lizzy and Budgie was clear as Danava ripped through their set, entertaining the crowd with melodic classic metal with occasional synthesizer parts. Vocally, Danava was very clean, with their guitarist/vocalist/synth player utilizing catchy melodies that worked well with Danava’s music. Their bassist was insanely talented as he shredded out scale after scale of dueling licks that interplayed with the guitar parts. While this reporter didn’t catch any song names, it’s safe to say that every song Danava played sounded great.
There were absolutely no “modern” influences in Danava’s sound, which is quite a welcome change from the tons of newer bands playing “modern metal” that only dilute it with nu-core influences. This concert brought to mind an era where lead guitar players were king and solos were not encouraged, but mandatory. The band’s chops, however, while polished, did not fall into the pit of soulless technical noodling, as every solo or lick or scale run was passionate and energetic. The band ended its set with a massive rock finish, leaving the crowd with melted faces and sore necks.
Needless to say, this was quite an amazing show (especially for eight bucks) and anyone who missed it, missed out. If Danava or any of the other bands are playing in a city near you, you owe it to yourself to check them out. As a final, noteworthy bonus, the house music at the Ten Eleven was amazing. Between songs, there was nothing but old-school doom metal being played, and good house music is one of those things that are often overlooked, but very much appreciated. Thanks to the Ten Eleven for hosting another great show, and to all the bands who played for making it great! See you at the next one!
For more info: We’ll keep you posted on more awesome shows like this!