Category: The Jesus Lizard

The Jesus Lizard – Head

ARTIST: The Jesus Lizard                    220px-JesusLizHead

TITLE: Head

YEAR RELEASED: 1990

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Nooooo

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They played Killer McHann at almost every show

LINEUP: David Yow, Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims, Mac McNeilly

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Texas weirdos kick it up a notch and release a full-length album with sinister sounding tunes and David Yow all over.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: David Wm. Sims’s bass is rumbly and menacing, Mac McNeilly pounds the drums and locks into Sims, and Duane Denison’s guitar chars whatever is in its way with riffs and fills. Then…there’s David Yow.

Yow’s vocal delivery ranges from incomprehensible, to distorted, to deranged. Sometimes, in one song, he’s all three. Definitely not for the weak of heart, or those who really insist on melody or something like that. They’re excused here.

The Jesus Lizard’s still trying to figure out their best approach, but this, their first full-length, is getting close. A couple of tracks lumber on where the menace becomes boring. But there’s some classics, especially “Killer McHann”, a concert staple.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was the first release featuring McNeilly. They had used a drum machine before.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The CD included their debut EP

GRADE: B+: A step in the evolution of a crazed band.

The Jesus Lizard – Pure

ARTIST: The Jesus Lizard                                  220px-Pure_EP

TITLE: Pure

YEAR RELEASED: 1989

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: It was an EP

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you were in tune with Touch & Go or Albini

LINEUP: Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims, David Yow

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut EP from the band formed from the ashes of Scratch Acid.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After Scratch Acid broke up, David Yow was asked by Duane Denison to play bass on some songs for a recording. Yow suggested he sing and bring on his old band mate Sims and the Jesus Lizard was born.

This EP catches the band in their early stages, with a drum machine and a tentative style. David Yow’s ‘vocals’ are rather much in place (he screams, yelps, shouts and distorts his voice more than sing), but with a drum machine the power of the group is somewhat dimmed.

Still, this is a debut that shows what the group was going to be about. And of course, with their final cut, some of what they were going to be was noisy BS, but hey, that’s their MO.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They originally formed in Austin, but moved to Chicago before recording.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but on CD it was originally appended to their first full length.

GRADE: B:  “Interesting”.