Lizard Skynard
Lizard Skynard

A Lizard Skynard album arrives in your inbox. Before listening to it, you guess what it might be. Do you guess:

a) A groovy, psychedelic mix of southern rock and thrash?

b) A cheeky mix of lounge music, psychobilly and sludge fronted by a guy in a lizard mask?

c) A lurching blend of hardcore and drone with spoken word vocals performed by a comedian and performer who’s body-modded and tattooed himself head to toe like a reptile?

If you guessed C, then ding ding ding, Captain Observant! The album cover above clearly shows Erik Sprague, otherwise known as Lizardman. Maybe some of you saw him on the Jagermeister tour in 2008, which is where he hooked up with Mossy from The Heavils and Waco Jesus to create this odd project. I didn’t, but I once hired a troupe of sideshow performers to hang cinder blocks from their eyelids and eat light bulbs in my living room for a house party, so I dig that kinda stuff.

Anyway, this is slithering, droning, lunging hardcore, heavily drenched in psychedelic feedback and effects. Despite the weirdness of the concept, Lizard Skynard isn’t a joke band – it’s fairly dark and noir, with lots of hazy interludes. Bongos, warbling effects and plunking, plodding bass on “Ocean Electric,” or filthy, sinister surf rock on “Space Eels.”

But there’s still some comedy here too – the vocals are all spoken word delivery, kind of like Henry Rollins in his more mellow confessional moments. Lizardman doesn’t often crank to a bellow as Rollins does though – his delivery is a lot more wry and arch, letting the weirdness of his stories make the impact. Some of it is pretty amusing, like the deadpan, tight-ass cop of “Normal,” or the wacked-out conspiracy freak of “Space Eels.” It’s not quite on the level of Neil Fallon’s (Clutch) stream-of-consciousness poetry, but it definitely kept me tuned in for these songs.

That is, until we get to the ratatat-to-catatonic “Bell & Syndrome,” which is all one-dimensional buzz and drone, and then on through stuttery album closer “Austin Slow Trip.” These tracks move too far away from the lurching hardcore that made tracks like “Space Eels” and “Ocean Electric” so intriguing and unpredictable, and it’s at this point that the album just becomes weird, as opposed to cool and weird.

Still, you get some interesting badassery, weirdness and fairly entertaining spoken word for a good few songs, which makes this odd little project worth checking out. Curious to see what they do on the next album, if there is one. I’d personally like to see them have a little more fun and not be so dour – spend some time listening to Mr. Bungle‘s California, write some more outrageous rants, and then see what slithers out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
September 17th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    yeah, this sounds pretty fuckin’ weird.

  2. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    Hehe. Think I would have preferred option A or B. >=)

  3. Commented by: faust666


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