Saturday, 12 May 2007



In the movie “Amateur” by Hal Hartley there is a scene where Damien Young has lost his mind at the hands of accountants carrying guns. In an effort to find his way home he pulls a woman from a phone box to try and get help but instead finds himself getting arrested for being nasty. The soundtrack for this entire scene is “Then Comes Dudley” which opens this masterful record from The Jesus Lizard. And quite possibly such an act/gesture came from the summoning of the spirit of David Yow.

This is where it all comes together for The Jesus Lizard; spread over nine nasty tracks there is little in the way of flab on the record. Every instrument sounds punishing in both the method it is being played and the way it has been recorded (by Steve Albini obviously).

Released in 1991, this is/was the second album and easily the best selection of The Jesus Lizard songs to be found in the same place.

With “Then Comes Dudley” out of the way the album immediately storms into “Mouth Breather” with its stabbing and stuttering jagged guitars and Yow shout mumbling something about him “being a nice guy”. As the guitar drops out the trademark Albini drum sound and intricate bassline only serves to disorientate and empower proceedings tenfold.

On “Seasick” Yow demonstrates some of the most contained but also extreme bouts of screaming ever heard in rock history serving to prove just what a powerful and unique vocalist he will always be, confirmation that in another life at a different time he could have been like Iggy. Coupled with “Monkey Trick” the mid part of the album is a true example of terrified desperation and fear, very claustrophobic and truly unhinging. This is the soundtrack to the scene of a crime, the kind that has a history of appearing on Unsane album covers.

If ever there was an album designed to anger neighbours and infuriate parents it was this one.

Thesaurus moment: nonpareil.

The Jesus Lizard

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