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Old Man Lizard: Lone Wolf vs. Brown Bear

Somehow I don't think these guys are kidding around. Their Facebook page actually has a picture of N.W.A. (Dr. Dre was so young back then!) with the initials O.M.L where N.W.A. should be. The title of the picture, no doubt taken from the original image, reads "The World's Most Dangerous Group." I doubt any direct comparison is intended; however, I do think that these guys want to point out that certain kinds of danger need not be limited to the early 90s. N.W.A. was about something very different than Old Man Lizard; still, I think rock music, in all its variety, should maintain a certain danger, even though it may take on different guises. Old Man Lizard's take on danger, it seems to me, is to make music that challenges expectations. This isn't the stuff that puts everyone else down, a chest-thumping show of testosterone-fuelled manliness. Instead, it's about the courage to get dirty in the first place, no matter the outcome of the fight. The album title suggests as much (as does the album art)—this is all about the fight, the soundtrack that plays behind a film of a bloody bout in the mud, the kind where everyone gets dirty and has no idea what the fight is about.

This band describes their music as Stoner-Noir / Country-Sludge. That's exactly right. I don't know exactly what it means, but it's precise. The Country-Sludge part is particularly apt.

Anyone who puts on this album will be struck with two things: First is the creative force behind the music. Every time I think I know where the music is going, it moves ahead of me, sometimes even running out of range. There are creative chords and sounds and rhythms and ideas all through this thing. Second is the sheer anxiety and despair of the vocals. I can't describe them with any better words than those. The vocals come and suck the joy out of things, taking listeners precisely to the "noir" aspects of this band's sound. Noir, at least in the movies, is about intense vulnerability, the kind that people feel when they are confronted with impossible situations that have no good choices. With this crazy album, Old Man Lizard reminds us that music may be both great and overwhelming. Be sure to stick around after the last track. There's a hidden banjo solo.

Track Listing:
1. Hypocastinum Warrior
2. Kieko's Last Smile
3. Return of the Wilderbeest
4. Wolves Wood
5. Rum Guts
6. Don't Piss in the River
7. Beelzebeer Blues
8. Lone Wolf vs. Brown Bear
9. Sea of Witches

Added: August 18th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1460
Language: english

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