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The Jesus Lizard

June 12, 2009

The Jesus Lizard – uh, a whole bunch of shit. In particular, the Lash EP, Goat, and Shot

By all rights they’re a band I should have been obsessively interested in a long, long while ago because I like a lot of other sludgy 90s stuff (eg: Mudhoney, The Melvins, Shellac, etc.), but The Jesus Lizard never really clicked for me until recently. Two Saturdays ago I purchased a used copy of Lash, which is a set of three 7-inches from 1993. Yum.

I think what’s doing it for me right now is the vaguely mechanical-sounding rhythm section plodding along under frenzied vocals. You can hear the band’s lineage as quasi-industrial outfit with a drum machine instead of a living drummer even after the addition of Mac McNeilly following their first record. There are hints of No Means No, too, but I like it anyway.

Dubiously-relevant personal anecdote: (Then ex-)Jesus Lizard guitar player Duane Denison was part of Hank Williams III‘s backup band when he opened for The Reverend Horton Heat at The Upper Deck Sports Bar (now Nicky Zee’s) in 2000. Duane was squished up next to me during the Rev’s set, and I kept thinking, “Holy shit, that guy smells really bad.” Almost bad enough to make me move, but I was close to the front, and Jimbo hadn’t even stood up on his bass yet, so for better or worse, I endured. That is the price we pay for rock and roll, friends.

For fans of: lunacy for fun and profit, distortion, the tight, the shiny

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