Lizards, The - 2006 Against All Odds

ARTIST: Lizards, The
ALBUM: Against All Odds
LABEL: Hyperspace Records
YEAR: 2006

LINEUP: Mike DiMeo - vocals * Patrick Klein - guitars * Randy Pratt - bass * Bobby Rondinelli - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm No Good * 02 Can't Fool Myself * 03 On A Wire * 04 Planck Time * 05 Ariel * 06 My Dark Angel * 07 Bad Luck Is Come To Town * 08 Revelation No. 9 * 09 Take The Fall * 10 Up The Stairs * 11 Eleven * 12 The Arrival Of Lyla

RATING: image


Having forged quite a reputation as harbingers of epic 70's inspired hard rock workouts, this is the fifth album for The Lizards, quite prolific for a band only four years into their existence. Making his second appearance as vocalist is Mike DiMeo, who recently left veteran metal greats Riot to devote more time to this lot plus Euro metallers the story goes.

The other noted members are Rondinelli, who famously occupied the drum stool for legends such as Rainbow and Black Sabbath and was offered the vacant Kiss drumming position back in 1980 if I'm not mistaken, plus guitarist Patrick Klein, previously with cult AORsters French Lick and their future incarnation Stone Soup.

A lot of hype has surrounded The Lizards since their inception (which featured John Gardner on vocals) due to their throwback 70's approach, which involves lengthy jams and much 70's gimmickery eg hammond organ solos. Glenn Hughes guests on various tracks here, fitting in with ease and helping add some flavour to the proceedings.

The Songs

This isn't the easiest of recordings to instantly acquaint with. At twelve tracks and five of them exceeding six minutes, there's a lot to decipher.

'Can't Fool Myself' is one such moment, at nine minutes it takes a while to develop but builds into a Deep Purple like live jam recalling 1974's 'You Fool No One', the drumming very Ian Paice alike and the organ solo taking cues from Jon Lord. Far from original but still convincingly handled, not what is generally attempted these days by anyone.

There's an Aerosmith swagger to the shorter 'On A Wire' where Hughes makes one of his guest spots, trading vocals with DiMeo. Not quite cutting it is 'Ariel' with some dodgy harmonica use to blame, not quite palatable and a bit forced, shoving the whole loose 70's energy vibe a bit too far down the throat.

Hughes adds some of his trademark funk to 'Up The Stairs' which he wrote with The Lizards, horns blaring also, but I'd be happier hearing another 'I Got Your Number'.(wouldn't we all.. .Ed) It is regrettable that Hughes is more of a voice than DiMeo, overshadowing him on 'Revelation No 9', a track that descends into a mammoth free for all, with the addition of some synthesizers that are straight off Purple's 1975 'Love Child'.

It's all very energetic and retrospective, but overall the songs are long winded and lacking spark, in other words for all the experience offered by The Lizards this is largely a dull album. A new AC/DC CD would suit me better.

In Summary

Obviously The Lizards are doing something right otherwise they wouldn't be enjoying such rising popularity. There will always be an audience for this type of hard rock, and not just for those from the era.

I am curious to hear the previous three outings, as it has been suggested this was a slight departure for the band, in a good or bad way is uncertain, but it surely isn't a positive step.

It's hard to find an album these days that isn't twelve or more tracks and it can be a drain when the songs are a shade overlong and maybe not melodically as sharp as they should be. The Lizards should overcome these obstacles and then maybe Rondinelli can take that bloody wig off.

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