There was a somewhat irreplaceable druggy swagger that Joey LaCaze brought to the table as drummer of Eyehategod. The NOLA blues-sludge titans were never anything less than tight, but LaCaze's timing was always slightly behind the beat, making their performances feel like they were on the verge of total collapse. They were/are heroes, but you rooted for them anyway because they felt like the runty kid on the baseball team that would hit homers whenever he wasn't in the hospital. Yet considering their previous history with substances and the law, EHG also seemed utterly invincible, which is why LaCaze's passing earlier this year was so shocking, hitting just as the band seemed like they were starting to crossover. Joey LaCaze was one of a kind.
Aaron Hill, a New Orleans native, has the unfortunate duty of replacing the punk-as-fuck and sorely missed LaCaze on Eyehategod's first tour since the tragedy. It's a hard job, but Hill is totally up for the challenge. Hill's skills behind the kit are completely unquestionable; he booms, his timing is dead on and he's fun to watch, but Joey's attitude is missed. Eyehategod is still amazing and still loved just as much as ever, but it's a new era. And somehow, they're back to being the underdog.
R.I.P. Joey LaCaze. Looking forward to hearing your final offering to the world, the long-anticipated new LP.
Pictures from Eyehategod's appearance at The Acheron in Brooklyn on November 16th with Brooklyn death metal greats Trenchgrinder and sleazeoids Syphilitic Lust are above.
Photos by Suren Karapetyan
Eyehategod Is Tighter Than Ever, And That's Pretty Weird