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Lizards Exist: Lizards Exist

Having spent four years piecing their sound together, Croatia's Lizards Exist set about creating their self titled debut effort. Analogue equipment was exclusively used to form an album that sounds intentionally retro in both content and outlook, as Spacey Psych Rock spills from Soft Machine to Nektar via early Pink Floyd and the Ozric Tentacles. It's a potent brew and one heady with fumes which knock you sideways before flattening like a ton weight. Two distinct approaches are at play across four songs which by running to just over 40 minutes add to the feel of vinyl days gone by; three numbers breaking the tape at just over seven minutes before the sprawl of "Anunnaki Dance" illustrates the versatility and diversity across its well used seventeen minutes and ten seconds.

However it is the languidly focused "Bamija" which opens proceedings, pensive and timid initially, a clean guitar line barely whispered as a rhythmic click sets a lazy scene. Dreamy keys sprinkle colour, as the guitar builds in confidence reverberating with a reserved sense of purpose. No words are uttered and so it remains throughout the whole album, synths, mellotron, guitars and bass used to narrate these tales from other worlds. Don't forget drummer Boris Brozovic though, for it is his deft touch which gathers all of the disparate ideas and streams them into the keen sense of cohesiveness displayed throughout. As this opening number heads for its conclusion, a real driving purpose emerges, the guitars more strident, the drums more insistent and yet the band's self control remains intact. Brozovic is let loose on "Ljetni Hit", a two minute drum workout closing this more extrovert showing where guitarist Sinisa Mraovic and bassist Tihomkr Zdjelarevic really begin to bounce off one another as Roko Margeta's keyboards build a moody backing from which all this stems. Interestingly for all the constraint shown across these tracks, it is when Lizards Exist really let things fly free, that they begin to truly hit home. This is something the more funky, carefree "58" benefits from greatly, a groovin' good time ensured as the bass lines roam and pulsate, while the synths once more invite a real sense of otherworldly atmosphere. Wildness ensues and what wildness it is, as the shackles are quickly removed for a track which suddenly allows Lizards Exist to fly crazy.

Which brings us back to "Anunnaki Dance" where all the elements from before are given extra room to breathe and extra time to mature. It isn't wasted, the early Eloy feel rammed headlong into a full on early Floyd shard of Psych mayhem which somehow never feels indulgent or lacking in focus.

Lizards Exist have really hit their stride with this debut effort, the four piece flexing their musical muscles in a way which feels mature beyond their years and fully realised in a way not often heard from a young outfit from a country seen as a musical backwater. Lizards Exist, long may they prosper.


Track Listing
1. Bamija
2. Ljetni Hit
3. 58
4. Anunnaki Dance

Added: May 25th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Lizards Exist on Bandcamp
Hits: 1662
Language: english

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