Yakuza is a little unusual for a heavy-metal band — if that’s what you can call it. Lead singer Bruce Lamont also plays sax, an instrument you don’t hear often in metal. It works because Lamont is playing some pretty avant-garde, noisy stuff on that sax. On Saturday night, Yakuza played a show at the Beat Kitchen to celebrate the release of its new CD, Of Seismic Consequence.
If that saxophone wasn’t enough to convince you that this music is maybe a little more prog than your typical metal, there was also the presence of guest cellist Alison Chesley (a.k.a. Helen Money) on several songs, while Kelly Lamont sang harmony vocals. But Bruce Lamont and some of his bandmates (Matt McClelland and Ivan Cruz) also flung their hair around, with all of the abandon of real headbangers. The one exception was drummer James Staffell, who simply doesn’t have the long locks to fling.
Lamont (who also plays the part of Robert Plant in the tribute band Led Zeppelin II and tends bar at the Empty Bottle) seemed to be possessed at moments, staring intently at his microphone as he sang in a range of styles stretching beyond standard “Cookie Monster” growls. He never let up on the intensity, however. It was an epic performance by Yakuza.
See my photos of Yakuza in concert.
Here’s a promotional video trailer for the new Yakuza album, which comes out June 22 on Profound Lore Records, featuring the band members talking about the album.