Throwback Thursday: The Jesus Lizard

the-jesus-lizardReeling for something cathartic, classically trained guitarist Duane Denison invited local Austin musician from recently disbanded Scratch Acid to record bass on some new songs.  David Yow, instead, suggested he take the helm as chief growler (and, inherently, enigmatic frontman), while enlisting Scatch Acid‘s bass player David Wm. Sims as anchor.  Relocating to Chicago in 1988 and teaming up with producer Steve Albini and drummer Mac McNeilly, the band rattled off a quartet of groundbreaking, industrial-strength, art-punk, noisy-yet-often-melodic rock records that would easily rival contemporaries Nirvana, Fugazi, etc.  Yet, they never really gained the fame or recognition of these other bands. I was fortunate enough to see them perform a handful of time at Athens, GA’s 40-watt club – some of the best shit I’ve ever been fortunate enough to have witnessed.  If you’re not in the know, you are now.  Behold:

“Boilermaker” from LIAR [1992] – first song I ever heard from this artist; riveting, heavy, manic.

“Glamorous” from DOWN [1994] – this video captures their essence much better than most of the videos out there.

Split single with Nirvana: “Puss / Oh, The Guilt” – Puss: a misogynistic, red-neck battle song is what JL offered up to this split with red-hot Nirvana – nonsensical crazy, bold shit.

“Dancing Naked Ladies” from LIAR [1992] – most of the ‘produced’ videos kind of suck, but this one’s okay.

“Mailman” from SHOT [1996] major label debut on Capital records – Steve Albini no longer on board, Yow’s vocals are quite different – great stuff, nonetheless.

“Seasick” from GOAT [1991] – haphazard tales from the days of stagediving.

Monkey Trick” [mp3] from  GOAT [1991] – live recording, courtesy of WFMU.

The Jesus Christ Lizard dudes have recently reunited and are touring periodically. We recommend you see them if you can.


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