Release DetailsLABEL Hyperspace Records
RELEASED ON 12/1/2003
The Lizards Rule
posted on 4/2004 By:
To properly decipher The Lizards it helps to not have lived for the last thirty or so years. To pretty much have missed all the intervening years' progression from loud rock and roll to what we know today as metal. This is because this band is entirely about the turning point when loud rock music became a form all its own instead of a tool used by bands to explore their ideas of excess. Which is OK, I suppose. The members are made up of people who were either there in some way, making the new scene, or at least have a deep respect for the music of that time.
But the thing is, great though it may have been (and I don't think much of it was good, let alone great, but that's me), that time has passed. And trying to recapture the feeling of that time now that the music has evolved so dramatically is about as provocative as a Monkeys reunion tour. Or maybe having to buy an album recorded by one of those Pink Floyd tribute bands. I mean, I love the Marx Brothers - some of the funniest movies ever made were created around those guys. Fucking comedic genius oozed from their pores. But if someone tried to remake a movie using exactly the same tricks and basic ideas that the Marx Brothers did in 2004, it would just suck all the shit from all the outdoor toilet facilities in the Great American West. The ideas were good because they were original, unseen and undreamed. I don't care if you got Chris Rock, Dave Chappel and David Cross to play the parts, it would lick asshole.
So it is with The Lizards. This is just not compelling by modern standards at all. And it's not even that compelling when thrown up against the bands who's ideas these were to begin with: Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blue Cheer at all. The sound begins and ends with the exploration of the four piece, blues based hard rock standard, but fails to take it any place interesting. Composed of hard rock vets Bobby Rondinelli, who has drummed for the likes of Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult and John Garner of everyone's favorite 70's rock band SIR LORD BALTIMORE! Bass and guitar are filled by the Randy Pratt and Patrick Klein of ... the Lizards I guess. Bobby seems to be the one I would keep.
Garner does a passing imitation of Ian Gillan in his later years or David Coverdale in his early years. But you can see why you know their names better than his as you listen. Not a bad singer, just dated as fuck. Pratt and Klein are competent, but are not writing anything that you will remember when the music's over. Rondinelli plays like a veteran rock drummer, though, showing the kind of taste and decision making that have kept him in demand.
The production is simple and complimentary, opting to record the band playing the songs and little more or less. The songs themselves are excruciatingly familiar to anyone who has heard the countless bands that have come to be known as stoner rock, although there are a few funky numbers that kind of separate from the pack - "Pay the Band" is one that stood out for me.
Bottom Line: Ultimately this CD is just not something anyone ought to need in their collection. If you go and get Who Do We Think We Are?, Machine Head or the Godlike Made In Japan by Deep Purple you would end up with far better records that at least meant something at the time. Or Agents of Fortune, or Rising or the collected works of Mountain or Scorpions with Uli Roth...get my point? If you already have all these and just have to have all the stoner bullshit bands that have followed them and STILL have to have something that reminds you of the good old days when ROCK WAS ROCK motherfuckers and everyone wore softball jerseys with airbrushed Black Oak Arkansas logos and smoked REAL WEED, man and quoted the lines from Seargant Stadenko while reading Playboys in Steve's basement room with all the models of monster hot rods lining the shelves and posters of black light Led Zeppelin draping the walls...fucking JUMP, brother. It's your lucky day. Far out. For myself and I believe most 21st century metalheads, I think we will take a pass. Man.
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