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The best kept secret in music


"Piss Promise, Doktor Gustave Hertz, Mr. Pod, and Venison"

by George Smith
November 1st, 2004 3:00 PM

Lesion 666
Lockdown DVD

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 CDs—Slaboratory, You and What Army, and Fantasy Dance Party—offer 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.
- Village Voice

"Post-everything LESION's bombastic camp-metal hits hard"

"Post-everything LESION's bombastic camp-metal hits hard. The group combines the antics of lead singer Dr. Gustave Hurtz—a sadistic looking Right Said Fred lookalike who stalks the stage with furious glee—with the kind of hard rock that takes both a sense of good taste (and bad) and years of practice. Guitarist Piss Promise (last seen rocking out in diapers) is a buzzsaw."
- Time Out New York


Slaboratory (1998)
You And What Army? (2000)
Fantasy Dance Party (2003)

Heatmiser versus Snowmiser (2000)
You Ruined Christmas Again (2001)
Lesion versus Dekker Remix CD (2002)
8 Rotten Reindeer (2002)
Fantasy Dance Remix (2003)
Christmas Between 1st and A (2003)
The Frozen Ground (2004)
The Holiday Special (2005)

Soundtrack Singles
He is the Rock (2004)
(Theme From) To Live As A Woman (2004)
Collide (2004)
Ligntning Strikes the Same Man Twice (2004)
Is That What Turns You On (2004)
Lesion and Dekker (2005)

Live at Arlene Grocery (2001)
911 Compliation (2002)
The Best of New York Live at Arlene's Grocery


Feeling a bit camera shy


Since the late nineties, LESION has proven itself one of New York City's best, most original live bands, appearing regularly at venues such as Arlene's Grocery, Mercury Lounge, The Continental, Sine, CBGB, The Knitting Factory, Luna Lounge and Don Hills. (The bands draw in NYC ranges from about 75 to 100.) Originally from Essen, Germany, these four transplanted New Yorkers have consistently pushed the limits of traditional rock performance.

Besides LESIONs legendary live shows, the band has made a reputation for presenting mind-bending "specialty" gigs, once performing as their own Swedish tribute band at the now defunct Coney Island High. In 2001, LESION premiered Destroyours, a live show that combined songs from Destroyer by KISS with tracks from Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, a performance later featured in British rock magazine MOJO. In August 2002, The Onion newspaper and Warsteiner Beer co-sponsored the Lesion Lifestyle Experience at Arlene's Grocery. An incredible once-a-week month-long performance residency that yielded 4 original short films directed by lead singer Dr. Gustave Hurtz, a remix CD by NYC truntableist DJ Dekker, as well as a gallery exhibit of LESION poster artwork. In 2004, the band launched LESION: See, Sniff, Rub, Lick, Listen, a five-month performance series that focused on the five human senses and premiered five new short films (including Eyes, Bloody Eyes!, featuring comedian Judy Gold). In January 2005, LESION performed Saturday Night Bollocks at Crash mansion, a show that ingeniously mashed songs from Nevermind the Bollocks, Here�s the Sex Pistols with The Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. (Something no one in the history of music had ever asked for.)

LESION has received notable national exposure, opening for Tenacious D in West Hollywood and more recently moe at Irving Plaza in NYC. At the end of 2001, LESION was the subject of a New York Post article by Mary Huhn (later picked up and run in shorter form in TV Guide) and in 2000, the band had two songs featured on the USA Networks WWF Sunday Night Heat. That Christmas, WNEW FM featured the bands version of Heatmiser VS. Snowmiser as one of the "best holiday covers" of the year. In January 2005, The Anthology Film Archives in New York presented Cowards and Weaklings, a retrospective of LESION's short films.

LESION's ongoing series of films (15 so far) have earned them tons of critical acclaim. In April 2002 the 20-minute GROUPIE.FUCK.FACE won awards for Best Narrative Under 30 Minutes as well as Best Screenplay at the Arlenes Grocery Picture Show. In 2004 the band premiered The Sucking (a film that earned Dr. Hurtz the 2005 Arlenes Grocery Picture Show Best Actor award).