Lizards, The: 4.2.11 (DVD)
It's roughly 90 minutes of solid hard rock on the latest DVD from The Lizards, titled 4.2.11. With live footage from shows at New York City's BB Kings (where they opened for Cactus), Farmingdale, New York's Downtown (opening for Zebra), Germany (on tour with UFO), and the Sweden Rock Festival, this is a fun set that also includes some great interviews with the band members.
The band's hard rock mix recalls such vintage 70's bands as Mountain, Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Cactus, and Free, and they rip through plenty of meaty & bluesy rockers here. Led by the stunning vocals of Mike deMeo (Riot, Masterplan), who sounds like a cross between Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant, and Steve Marriott, the rest of the band features the fiery guitar playing of Patrick Klein, bassist Randy Pratt, and legendary drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult). Not only is the music of The Lizards a breath of fresh air these days, their songs have that classic 70's feel, much of it thanks to the gritty guitar work of Klein, whose tasty blues-rock licks on this SG rip through catchy hard rockers like "I'm No Good", "It's Alright", "On a Wire", and "Grip of Love". The band even ventures into some proggy material from time to time, in a sort of Deep Purple/Uriah Heep way, on tracks like the instrumental "Hyperspace" and the adventurous & epic "Ariel/My Dark Angel", with deMeo delivering some wild organ passages. Of course, with Rondinelli on board, expect plenty of thunderous rhythms here as he grooves alongside the nimble bass lines from Pratt (there's also a few drum solos included here for good measure), giving these songs some serious bottom end. If you've followed this band at all over the years, there are songs featured here from throughout their discography, which makes this a well worth purchase and a great first introduction to the band. The interviews are insightful and often times funny (the segment about Mike's 'white shirt' is actually a riot!), and while some of the footage isn't of the best quality, the sound is excellent overall.
A very enjoyable DVD from one of the premier hard rock bands on the circuit today.
1 I'm No Good
2 It's Alright
4 On A Wire
5 Planck Time
6 Drum Solo
7 Revelation No. 9
8 Grip Of Love
9 Something Higher
10 The Rodeo
12 The Opal Crest of Zed
13 Drum Solo
14 We Are Dinosaurs
15 Ariel/My Dark Angel
16 I'm Mad
Added: January 26th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
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|Lizards, The: 4.2.11 (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-01-26 15:09:12
"4.2.11" is the title of the live concert DVD that captures one of the hardest working Rock acts that I have seen in a few years – New York's own The Lizards. I've been fortunate enough to have caught the band in performance a number of times over the past three years and based on their gigs as opener for Cactus, Zebra and UFO, they have managed to build up an impressive following of their own with their tasty Hard Rock meets the Heavy Blues. Their sound is instantly gratifying to those who long for the more traditional style of Rock and Roll as opposed to what is packaged as it for today's mainstream marketplace and with the four members being excellent at what they do, the entire performance will keep you interested from the moment it starts until it runs its course. If you don't know about them, well The Lizards are indeed a New York area band whose membership features singer Mike DeMeo (formerly of Riot), guitarist Patrick Klein, bassist Randy Pratt (who also delivers some harp for Cactus) and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath and Rainbow). DeMeo has a super powered Blues voice with some solid range and while at moments he seems to easily hit the heights of someone like Robert Plant, there are moments where he is subtle and reserved like Paul Rodgers. During the set he also offers up some wonderful keyboards and this makes tunes like "Hyperspace" come to bigger and brighter life. Pratt by the same token makes sure to present some of his harmonica skills which bring the Blues aspect of this band to a much deeper level. The first seven numbers of the film come from the bands opening set for Cactus, and we appear to get the full performance from that night as well. Guitarist Klein impresses on every number with one of the purest and cleanest sounds I have heard from a Rock act at this same venue. Clearly he knows not only what he is doing on the guitar but also how to work best in a room like the venerated B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, which is where this part of the footage comes from. Between the sets we find casual band commentary that will enlighten their fans a little bit more about their own lives as musicians and how they have worked together for the benefit of Rock and Roll. The title of the film seems to be a slight nod to the band Spinal Tap, whose amps went to "11", and my guess is that the "4" references the fact that we can enjoy four different setting of the band in action.
The DVD continues with footage from Germany, Sweden and from the now shuttered "Downtown" club in Farmingdale, Long Island. Every song is loaded with groove and passion and totally aimed at those listeners who appreciate Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and of course Cactus. Just listen to tunes like "Down" and "Opal Crest Of Zed" and you will see what I am talking about. My favorites on the film come from the B.B. King's shows because I was actually present for them that night and feel they are much more special in my Rock and Roll memory book. We don't find any song duplication which is a refreshing change from some DVD's out there and as result we get a very healthy piece of the bands live catalog of material and its enough to make one wish they were at the show themselves. There are actually two drum solos from Rondinelli to enjoy and while the first one comes from the venue we've mentioned a couple of times, the other one is a montage of drumming expertise that takes a number of shows and skillfully blends them together. Rondinelli is one of the most powerful skin bashers in the business and he makes it look so easy to do when in reality it is not. The film was directed and edited by Michael Angelo Garcia and produced by Pratt with assistance from Klein. There are a number of exciting angles and shots that make this an interesting film to view for while much of it is straight on shooting of the gigs, the people involved in this aspect clearly knew the material that they were filming and that made for better close-ups across the board. The band is set to release their covers album "Archaeology" on Hyperspace Record to coincide with the DVD release and this is a high recommendation for fans of the pure stuff. Let their brand of Rock groove you with "4.2.11" and be sure to try and catch them performing in the future.
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