What’s in the box… The Jesus Lizard

Introducing a new feature to Blank Slate. What’s in the box? Record crate digging! Since it’s Easter, Jesus Lizard is as close to religion as I’ll ever get, seems ideal.

From my own personal record collection. I talk about my love of the Lizard…

Record: The Jesus Lizard/Nirvana
Label: Touch and Go – TG83
Format: 7″ Transparent blue vinyl
Released: 1993

jesus lizard

The worlds ‘best/worst band’ and no mistake. People have described them as an awful racket. Yow’s vocals are Marmite, love them or hate them. There’s no denying he is one of the greatest frontmen and live performers of the last 30 years.  They’ve recruited a loyal legion of fans over the years and many imitators.

Simple, primitive, tense, aggressive, with four distinct & talented musicians, tighter than a ducks arse, super clean tones at a monstrous volume making them sound utterly filthy. They were highly influential in their day and that influence can still be heard with modern bands the likes of Blacklisters and Pissed Jeans. From Austin but based in Chicago, their sound can’t really be pinned down to a location. It’s an amalgamation of things, It’s certainly American, but lives by it’s own rules and as such is essential listening.

Beavis and Butthead knew the craic. Take Jesus into your life.

Nirvana helped bring them to the limelight (sort of) they don’t have that instant appeal, that Kurt Cobain type magic that he sprinkled over his songs. But they do have fucking solid, simple, clean, loud songs with and outrageous vocals from David Yow.

This 7 inch marked my introduction to the band many years ago. I didn’t know what it was. At that time I didn’t even think I liked it, it was different, I didn’t know what to think, but I kept returning for more.

About 15+ years later, Goat remains in my top 10 albums of all time. The album that this is from (Liar) is easily in my top 25-50. Goat, however, is the essential Jesus Lizard album. Every track is bursting off the record player. All killer and no filler as they say, solid from start to finish.

goat jesus lizard

Steve Albini recorded and also worked his magic on the re-issues. The songs never sounded so good, giving them that punch, volume and deep end that was missing from the original CD pressings but present on the vinyl versions if you are lucky enough to have copies. The version in this is very bright with little low end (popular production technique in the 90s, which sounds awful on modern-day devices). The bass was/is a HUGE part of their sound. David Sims is great at simple dirty hooky riffs, which drive the bands sound. One of my all-time favourite bass players.

Compare that version to this…

Feel that groove!

Nirvana were big fans of the Lizard, hence this split. Offering up a previously unreleased but totally classic Nirvana track ‘Oh the Guilt’. Which is still one of my fave songs of theirs and it’s very Jesus Lizard-esque.

More from Jesus Lizard

Here’s why they were one of the best live acts too. This is from 2009 when they did some reunion shows. Older and still kicking arse!

Behind that sound


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