The internet has made the world quite implausibly tiny. And turned random occurances for a single individual into happenings of collective excitement; rocks drop heavy into the pool of Facebook water, causing ripples on ripples, waves upon waves.
The only reason I know of this band and their excitement inducing brand of molecularly spectacular super-post-hardcore is that a good friend of mine (lets call him David, for it is his name) was walking down the the street in a town in California (for it is where he lives), when he heard emanating from a garage some highly technical, perversely intense drumming.
So being the curious fellow that his (curious as in hyper-interested, rather than odd.) (Well he is odd but that isn’t germane to this particular story) he walked right up to that particular garage door and knocked; determined to find out the identity of the drummer and the source of inspiration for the music. And low and behold the gentleman drumming was playing along to a Black Dhalia Murder track, adding his own florid, extreme touches. They became friends, exchanged band information. David posted this and a link to their EP on Facebook and here we are: 200 words into a review and not a note of their music mentioned. Well, lets rectify that stultifying piece of incompetence right now!
Hailing from San Jose, CA – Lizard Kingdom have produced an effervescent and willfully acerbic EP which seems to draw upon a thousand influences but yet still manages to maintain a authorial voice all of its own.
Sounding initially like At The Drive In produced by Bad Brains, there is a delightfully punky aesthetic feel to every moment of Back To The Suture. Anyone who revels in melody and those who are daring in their application of it will love this record. It is filled with riffs that attach themselves to the memory with sonorous excitement; Gleefully penetrating the part of your brain that is forever 1993, regardless of how old you are, and insisting that you boogie like you don’t own a Cell phone and don’t know a single person that does.
But until one has become fully accustomed to these songs, dancing to them could be a little tricky, as Lizard Kingdom shift between metres and rhythms in a frenetic, compulsive and highly entertaining fashion. But they do this without ever losing an ounce of their hardcore edge, which is a testament to the underlying subtlety and skill of their playing. Managing to be both progressive and direct is a feat that a lot more experienced band would, quite figuratively, kill for; and that Lizard Kingdom should guard jealously.
They also seem to work together as a band quite brilliantly; with role and responsibility for the progression and drive of the music being evenly distributed between all of the instruments; leaving room for the vocals of Griffin Slinker to bounce over the top like some dessicated Henry Rollins; with his rage palpable and his larynx cut to shreds.
The balance of heart and head that they manage to strike is quite remarkable for a debut release; rolling from blistering moments of inebriated punkish passion to lilting phrases of sober technicality with a flair that grows on you like a lusciously malignant tumour.
So, why don’t you let David’s impulsive nosiness and my unchecked exuberance become your good fortune. Check out out their EP which is free to download via their BandCamp site. Stick it on your Walkman (I’m 34, every personal music player is a Walkman to me) and let Lizard Kingdom worm their way into your brain.
– John Whitmore