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The Lizards - Rule

The Lizards - RuleBack in the early 70’s, music was either classed as classical, jazz, Motown, Reggae, pop or rock.  People listened to music and liked what they liked.  In the case of rock, record collections could be very diverse with albums from Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Genesis, Trapeze and YES and so on with little thought given to categorisation.  These days we are more conscious of the various genres and sub genres and often choose to avoid some categories without a thought, possibly missing out on some exceedingly good music.

Consequently, those into folk, jazz, fusion, blues and progressive rock will probably not give The Lizards a look in, classed as it is under the rock/metal/heavy metal banner, and that would be a mistake.

From the start of opening track, Grip of Love, any misconceptions are blown away.  Delightfully heavy but minus the forced screaming vocals normally associated with the more typical HM band, the violins and cello arrangements plus a bluesy approach tips a wink towards Led Zeppelin.  It is very melodic and full of individual complexity and, dare I say it, a little bit prog in the Jethro Tull sense.  The Lizards may be a fairly new band (Rule is their second album), but the sound and approach is extremely polished.

Not that surprising really when you learn that the chaps who are The Lizards have had years of experience.  Vocalist and percussionist, John Garner, is the former singer and drummer for the first band to be dubbed ‘heavy metal’ back in 1971, Sir Lord Baltimore.  Drummer, Bobby Rondinelli has toured with Rainbow and Black Sabbath and continues to perform with Blue Oyster Cult.  Randy Pratt was in a sort of ‘sci fi’ prog band called Star People prior to The Lizards, which toured with Ozric Tentacles. And with Patrick Klein’s mastery of guitar (think Laurie Wisefield, Martin Barre and probably a few others) and backing vocals, a new era in classic ‘blues’ rock begins.

All bar one of the ten great tracks (Kingdom Come – Sir Lord Baltimore) are original, yet full of influences.  These influences include Led Zeppelin, Blues Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and even a touch of Captain Beefheart.

The band have recently completed a UK and European tour which will hopefully spawn a live DVD in due course and we understand that further UK dates are likely later in 2004.

For those tempted to buy the CD (available from The Lizards website) but still not fully convinced, there are three MP3s from the album to sample including the storming Grip Of Love.  In the immortal words of one great ex DJ, “Let’s Rock”.

Jem Jedrzejewski

The Lizards

 

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