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Lizards Exist - Lizards Exist CD (album) cover


Lizards Exist


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.03 | 120 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Beaming down from Croatia in 2010, the bafflingly named Lizard's Exist made an instant splash on the psychedelic and spacerock scene with their privately released self-titled debut four years later. The four piece band offer a vinyl-length jammy, improvised mix of extended instrumentals loaded with mind-warping keyboard melts, heavy guitar grooves and delirious unhinged drumming full of spontaneity, and even some refreshingly sly little winks of humour! Taking in influences from early Pink Floyd, Nektar, little traces of the Ozric Tentacles and even modern improvised spacerock acts like the Oresund Space Collective, the Lizard's take it one step further by bringing unpredictable driving, gutsier, punchier bursts of power and energy hurtling through the slowly unfolding and drifting expansive cosmic atmospheres...or something like that!

Right from the opener, it's clear that the album perfectly captures a genuine 70's vibe, which is due to the band only using vintage equipment that was available in that era. `Bamija' jumps back and forth between slow-burn mystery and up-tempo runs of frantic eruptions, sounding like a blend of the first tiny cosmic Sixties steps of the Pink Floyd and perhaps even the first Nektar album. Ponderous bass, propulsive drumming and shimmering Fender Rhodes organ pin-pricks and fiery wailing electric guitar simmer slowly one minute and rage in a sucking vacuum-like vortex of distortion the next, and be sure to listen out for the whispering Mellotron veils that grow into a choir in the finale. Mellow guitar blues and disorientating splintering shards cut through `Ljetni Hit', and just as the piece seems to come to a rather clunky abrupt ending, it's all a tease as the band tears straight back into a noisy psychedelic freak-out with funky wah-wah guitars, nimble-fingered infernal Hammond organ runs and the obligatory wild Seventies extended drum solo!

`58' is full of an infectious and frequently playful bouncing energy with rapid-fire interplay between funky guitars, manic drumming, scratchy Hammond organ and pulsating bass, plus some Ozrics- like synth bubbles for good measure - never a bad thing! The band then close on the seventeen minute `Anunnaki Dance' that travels through a wide range of moods and environments. A slow psych build over glistening keys around chiming guitars, perfectly controlled drums slowly building in tempo, murmuring bass snaking along the background, rising and falling synth washes and electric piano fingertips tickling the horizon. The warmest of Hammond organ blankets envelope bluesy smouldering guitar wailing, before the band head for deepest space with echoing freeform sonic Glissando explorations that trickle like raindrops. A howling vacuum of feedback has the band escaping the black hole as confident thick droning Hammond organ and driving guitars swirl to a powerful climax.

If there is one complaint to make, it's that the bass is mixed far too low in some parts of the album. Where it should be upfront and making its presence known, it almost vanishes altogether to become a fairly non-descript barely audible thud in the background. Should the Lizard guys get picked up by a label who plan to re-release the album commercially, get that bass mixed way up and all will be right with the world!

But as it is, this self-titled debut from Lizard's Exist is still an exceptionally well-performed and exciting, lively take on all sounds jammy and psychedelic, and best of all, their music never comes across as aimless, instead always still remaining melodic and focused within the realms of improvisation. The four years the band have spent honing their skills have paid off with an exceptional debut album that already shows so much talent and even more potential to come. It's currently available on CD and download from their Bandcamp page at an absolute bargain price that puts many full-priced and established albums and artists to shame, so there's no excuse for not exploring this wonderful new young band!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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