The Jazzus Lizard exists, and it’s exactly what you think it is
08:16 am
The Jazzus Lizard exists, and it’s exactly what you think it is

I have done and still do some quality goofing on tribute bands, but I’ve softened the hardline stance I used to take against them. It used to irk me that tribute bands could be such big moneymakers while the VERY SERIOUS ARTISTS in the original bands I was into could barely afford to replace their broken shoelaces, but I get it—people only have so much going-out money, and while local original bands are exciting to check out, quality can be an unknown. More casual music fans—which is to say most music fans—KNOW their door money’s going to buy them a good time if they opt for the proverbial incredible simulation. And I can fault people even less if those incredible simulators make an extra effort on concept and presentation—any four paunchy, flannely alterkakers with sufficient skill can adequately reproduce Crazy Horse songs, so *yawn*, but Blobbie Williams, the overweight Robbie Williams impersonator? I would go see the shit out of that and I don’t even think I could name a Robbie Williams song if you were dangling me over a cliff. So hail to thee, We Are Not Men, Minikiss, and Mac Sabbath. Tribute bands you may be, but you go the extra mile conceptually, and that, I respect. (Except Dread Zeppelin. Fuck that hippie bro bullshit.)

So all of that was prelude to a band whose existence I have recently been alerted to, though they’ve been around for a while—Jazzus Lizard, the jazz Jesus Lizard tribute. They’ve released two albums digitally, titled Keys and Horn in keeping with their mothership band’s four-letter album titling convention. Those albums came out back in 2008 and 2009, but this is hardly the kind of band that needs to keep up a vigorous release schedule. They hail from the Jesus Lizard’s hometown of Austin, TX, and not only do they have their parent band’s approval, Jesus Lizard singer David Yow has gigged with them.

So since this stuff is a hybrid of jazz and rock, technically I suppose one must say the Jazzus Lizard is a fusion band, but they’re not smug and wanky in the ways that term calls to mind. The skronking sax over a heavy rhythm section often recalls Morphine, and the band’s arrangements touch on multiple eras from jazz history. Here’s a small selection of their work. The two complete albums are for sale digitally on Bandcamp.

Then Comes Dudley,” originally from the album Goat

Bloody Mary,” originally from the EP Pure

Zachariah,” originally from the album Liar

If You Had Lips,” originally from the album Head

Fly on the Wall,” originally from the album Down

Cheating a bit here, as it’s not a JL song, but this is cool—“Owner’s Lament,” originally by David Yow and bassist David Wm. Sims’ pre-Lizard band Scratch Acid, performed by Jazzus Lizard with that band’s guitarist Brett Bradford. Originally from Scratch Acid’s self-titled debut.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
David Yow talks to Dangerous Minds about ‘The Jesus Lizard: Book’
You got post-punk in my post-hardcore: check out David Yow and GVSB covering Joy Division

Posted by Ron Kretsch
08:16 am



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