by Myles Tiessen
The Lizzards have slithered back for their sophomore release, Lizzards II. Arriving via the local staple Eat Em Up Records, Lizzards II takes everything they brought to their S/T debut and brings a heightened ferocity. The vocals are snarlier, the guitars have quicker licks, the bass lines are boomier than ever, and the kit kicks with untethered tenacity.
The clearest takeaway from Lizzards II is the band’s undeniable chemistry and ego-less collaboration. Swapping singers is part of that, but it’s mostly evident in the very bones of their songs. “I Enjoy Being A Boy,” for example, kicks off with a thundering bass line well and swell enough to be the song’s main feature; that’s only until the face-melting guitar solo jumps off at a blistering pace. The chorus, which undoubtedly features the lyrics “I enjoy being a boy when I’m with you,” are backed by Beach Boys-esque “Oooohs.” It’s a tight track that comes in at under two minutes but makes a lasting impression.
One highlight on an album of highlights is “Freezing Cold,” a surf-rock gem that features call-and-response lyrics, endearing monitor buzzes, and, as one might expect, fuzzed-out guitars. It’s a catchy track that instantly makes you fall in love with the record.
Let’s also call attention to the impeccable penultimate, “The Leader.” Somewhat Sadies, somewhat Gun Club, this garage/country ballad is a perfect example of both genres’ propensity for cynicism, regret, and misanthropy. It’s probably the most lyrically dense track on the album (not that every song has to be) that wrestles with the nature of blind faith. “Come with me, and you will see you’ll reap just what you sow/ Trust in me, and I will lead to galaxies unknown,” says the song’s unreliable narrator.
There is everything you could ever want out of a garage album. Breakneck drumming? Check. Lofi vocals? Check. Scuzzy guitars that fucking rip with catchy riffs? Check and Check. It’s an undeniably old-school DIY rock that we don’t always get these days. Here’s to Lizzards III.