The Jesus Lizard


by Mike Pace


Considered by some to be the world’s most dangerous band, the Jesus Lizard cut and thrashed, slashed and burned all buck-naked and sweaty, until recently disbanding in July of 1999 after 10 years of wreaking havoc. Bang collects many of the band’s 7"s, B-sides, live tracks, and unreleased tracks, particularly those from the time the band clocked with Touch & Go, before leaving that label to pursue major label attention.

The Jesus Lizard have always been a loud, jagged, pissed-off band that burned aggression in such a way that didn’t conveniently fit under any particular musical category. I’ve always respected them for their refusal to compromise. Their last studio album, 1997’s Shot, released on Capital Records, sounds just as harsh as any of the band’s earlier material—your soundtrack to robbing and then burning down the ol’ general store while on a cross-country tour of destruction…yeah.

Regardless, Bang perfectly captures the Jesus Lizard at what they do best, which is tearin’ the roof of the sucka’, or something like that. Between David Yow’s shriek/yell vocal approach, David Wm. Sims’ lurching basslines, and Duane Denison’s grating guitar, the music comes together in an orgy of aural violence that is scarier than any of these Ozzfest ingrates, three times as abusive, and distinctly original. One might be reminded of fellow Chicagoan Steve Albini of Big Black/Shellac fame, appropriate because Albini worked with the band on their earlier records. With Bang however, one gets a full retrospective that includes both old and newer material-unreleased demo tracks (“The Test”), a great bootleg cut (“Blockbuster”), and a bunch of live songs. There is an overlap of material from 1994’s live Show album, although the songs appear in different versions here, as well as the 1993 Lash EP, which is also included in this package.

While the band no longer exists, this remains the Now Sound for those of us that can appreciate true sonic root canal work.



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