Friday, February 08, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 292 - The Jesus Lizard - Show

Album - Show
Artist – The Jesus Lizard
Key Players – Duane Denison – guitar. Mac McNeilly – drums. David Wm.Sims – bass. David Yow – vocals.

Release Date – June 14, 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I've been reading here and there about the Jesus Lizard and I haven't really paid a ton of attention until now. Its been my loss, its been a lot of fun getting in to them.

Overview - This album was recorded live at CBGB in New York on December 19, 1993.  Apparently it was released without the bands consent.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – After some stage announcements McNeilly gets things counted off on “Glamorous” and it slowly all begins. The big riff from Denison is accented off Sims bass. The full band comes in for a noisy intro. Yow has a muffled vocal delivery, off set with howls and screams and then back to a beat poet delivery. It all seems to end abruptly and Sims gets “Deaf As A Bat” rolling. His four note baseline rumbles along with the machine gun tempo fro McNeilly. Denison fires off some guitar portions that are neither complex or lengthy. Sims the is most constant on the tune, keeping a rock solid bass line intact throughout. You hear some light claps in the background and then “Sea Sick” has its rowdy intro. The song is a heavy tune, with the tempo seemingly scattered all over the place. McNeilly gets to start off “Bloody Mary” with a few moments alone on his kit, (its very short). The tune then falls in to place with Sims attaching his bass. Yow doesn’t have the wild vocal range, but his stage presence makes up for much of it (hard, even on a live record to capture). Denison chops at his guitar, but then tune then falls back to 4/4 time. “Mistletoe” has a really industrial feel to it with the distorted guitars and everything seems to buzz around you from side to side and back and forth. “Nub” continues with the same energy. The band seems to be really falling in to place at this point, with a certain intensity. Sims bass work continues to be really fun to listen to and McNeilly just seems to speed up on this one. Denison gets his chance to really fire off as well. There are never big guitar solos, but you can tell he gets his turn on tracks like this. Before “Elegy” Yow dedicates the song to his mom and dad who are at the show. Its a little slower at the outset than other tunes so far on the live collection. The band seems to slowly plod along at times and then it builds up in intensity as it goes on. The band never really unloads, but it gets more intense. Before “Killer McHann” starts Yow screams at the audience, asking “why you people have to be so god damn violent?” The band provides the soundtrack to whatever might have been happening in front of them with a wildly intense track.  “Dancing Naked Ladies” is delayed in starting as the band continues to argue with the audience. It seems to only fuel their intensity. “Fly On The Wall” is introduced with Yow saying “David Byrne is here”, or “Debra Harry is over there”. McNeilly is on task and Denison keeps the guitar line pretty simple, but Sims just gets the production kick for the bass line. Its RIGHT in your face. Somehow the band finds a way to get even more intense “Boilermaker”is just the key. Continues to go right after the listener. Sure Yow might not be the easiest to listen to, but the band is all business. The business is intensity that is for sure. “Puss” brings the heat with McNeilly and Sims working in tandem. Denison waits for the chorus to play his chords and Yow seems to be in command. You can almost see him pacing the stage like a crazed man. “Gladiator” has the chug of the bass found in many songs from around this time, but the loose cymbals of the drum kit give it more of that bite. Denison, who seems to have been a little quiet the last few tracks, suddenly attacks it. Going right after the listener. Sims and McNeilly continue with the solid wall of back beat. “Wheelchair Epidemic” follows the same pattern as the bulk of the songs, a heavy bass and frantic drumming. The collection concludes with the track “Monkey Trick”. Yow never says a word as the song begins and again Sims attacks the bass line. The song feels like a slow rumble to get going, but McNeilly pushes it and the band seems to try various tempos and stop breaks which adds to the intensity. It all ends and Yow says “Thanks, stick around there is a band from England on next”.

Where are they now? - The band, as noted was signed to a major, and after being dropped they disbanded in 1999. They'd reform in 2008 and tour until 2010 to positive reviews.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – The band was part of Lollapaloosa in 1995. July 25th is when I saw them. More than anything I recall David Yow really trying to work the daylight crowd. They had the energy for sure, but the bulk of those that stuck around seemed impartial to what was going on.

FDF Overall Take – I don't know a lot about the band and I found this live collection to be unbalanced. I am sure seeing them live (again) might make it all the better. I have much to learn. Please make suggestions of what is their strongest (or weakest) in the comments. I'd love to explore them more!


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
You can listen to the whole thing right here

It is out of print, but you can track it down pretty easily.  Right here for example.

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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