The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Lizzard Wizzard, Lizzard Wizzard

Posted in Radio on November 20th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I’ve expounded at some length before about the virtues of stoner rock charm, and with nerd-tastic references to South Park and Game of Thrones and role-playing games — they bill themselves both as “turn-based” and “four-player” — Brisbane, Australia’s quadruply-zedded Lizzard Wizzard most certainly have that working in their favor. The four-piece band self-released their 37-minute self-titled debut this week, and from the Dopesmoker-esque beginnings of “Twilight of the Terminator” to the almost unfortunately catchy lurch of “Total Handjob Future” — this is not a song you want to be singing as you walk, say, through the aisles of a grocery store on a weekday afternoon — the vibes are as lighthearted as the tones are heavy. Guitarist/vocalists Michael Clarke and Nick McKeon, bassist/vocalist Stef Roselli and drummer Luke Osborne find a nod-worthy balance of humor and crushing riffs, and while something in me seriously doubts that closer “Dogs Die in Hot Cars” was titled after the Scottish indie band of the same name, the awareness of pop culture only adds to the appeal of the album.

To wit, the gang-shout chorus of “Don’t forget your towel!” cribbing Towlie lines from South Park arrives over molasses grooving in the midsection of centerpiece “Bong Dive,” and only underscores what Lizzard Wizzard‘s Lizzard Wizzard is all about: Not taking itself too seriously but still being heavy as hell. Couple that with production that’s both huge and professionally crisp, and while they might be goofing around, Lizzard Wizzard ultimately come off as having a clear understanding of what they want to do as a band and how to do it. With “Game of Cones,” a sample of someone sparking a joint (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) and inhaling echoes over feedback before an oddly familiar riff begins and introduces what turns out to be the theme song of the HBO series based on George R. R. Martin‘s fantasy books redone as doom — a heavy genre that, if I may be so bold, has been sorely lacking in dragons for some time. The screaming verse and feedback in “Chaaaaarles” mounts a palpable tension that only starts to see release once the undulating bastard of a riff gets moving, so even though Lizzard Wizzard are obviously enjoying what they’re doing, they’re also crafting well-structured and effective material.

If that song’s making a reference to something other than a band in-joke, I don’t know what it is, but with talk of an “adamantium boner” and some accusations regarding illicit trying on of blouses, it’s pretty scathing. Meanwhile, “Twilight of the Terminator” breaks out “hail Sagan” and “Dogs Die in Hot Cars” actually winds up making a threat to those who’d abuse animals — the lines “Better be good to your pooch/Or you’ll taste my fuckin’ gooch” epitomize the mindset heard throughout — and while the emphasis is clearly on riffs across the board, the lyrics are a big part of what’s making the tracks stand out from each other and from the bevvy of fuzz-worshipers across various inhabited continents, even if the chanted “bongs, bongs, bongs” makes up three of the total five words included in “Reptile Dysfunction” (six if you count “yeah”). Sometimes that’s all you need to say.

Alright, maybe I’m a sucker for wordplay and big riffs, but I know I’m not alone. All seven tracks of Lizzard Wizzard are playing now in The Obelisk Radio‘s constant, unceasing stream, and you can hear them there and check out the album and grab a free download courtesy of the Bandcamp player below. However you go, go Sagan:

Lizzard Wizzard, Lizzard Wizzard (2013)

Lizzard Wizzard on Bandcamp

Lizzard Wizzard on Thee Facebooks

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Beastwars Post New Song “The Sleeper” from Upcoming 7″ Single

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Burlier than thou New Zealand outfit Beastwars have just unveiled “The Sleeper,” the B-side to their new single, “Tower of Skulls.” They’ll reportedly have a video for the single in the next few weeks, and if you’ll recall the clip they did for “Empire” from their self-titled full-length (review here), that’s undoubtedly something to look forward to, but in the meantime, “The Sleeper” hits public consciousness via a YouTube stream that it’s my pleasure to share with you.

The song is pretty subdued for the most part, but it’s got some underlying nastiness to it that surfaces late, all gritting teeth and whatnot and rife with tension. Check it out below, followed by the latest update from the band via their Thee Facebooks, and enjoy:

The Sleeper is the B-side to a limited edition glow in the dark 7″ vinyl that we’re releasing to coincide with our tour next month. The A-side is the much heavier track Tower of Skulls which will be released with a video in the coming weeks.

Tour dates are: Auckland Sat 17th Nov – Kings Arms, Wellington Fri 23rd Nov – San Fran Bathhouse, New Plymouth Sat 24th Nov – TSB Stadium/NZ Tattoo Festival, Christchurch Sat 1st Dec – The Irishman.

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Visual Evidence: Sleep Take a Personal Journey through Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

Posted in Visual Evidence on August 15th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

How desperate are we for new Sleep? Desperate enough that even a new promo shot earns its own post, thank you very much. Hell, it’s already the best-reviewed stoner metal band pic of 2012!

In the shot below, we see Sleep — drummer Jason Roeder (left), guitarist Matt Pike (right), bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (bottom) — paying homage to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos with, among other things, righteous turtleneckage.

I ask you, what’s not to love?

It's so influential!

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