Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Label: MVD Visual
Region Code: 0 NTSC
Duration: 65 mins
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

Director: Mathew Robinson
Band: David Yow, Duane Dennison, David WM. Sims, Mac McNeily

After a decade of inactivity seminal 90's noisemakers THE JESUS LIZARD returned to the American stage at the Exit club it Nashville, TN on July 14th 2009. The performance captured here features the four members of the classic JL line-up, David Yow (SCRATCH ACID) on vocals, Duane Dennison (TOMAHAWK) on guitar, David WM. Sims (RAPEMAN) on bass and Mac McNeily (MULE) on the drums.

I came to know THE JESUS LIZARD through their split single with NIRVANA as I'm sure many have, their contribution "Puss" was quite an intro too, a blissful skree of guitar, propulsive rhythm and David Yow's pained howling of "get her out of the truck. It was unlike anything I heard before and there's been nothing quite like it since. The next day I snagged LIAR (1992) and was floored, pummeled really, by what I had discovered. It was when I picked-up their previous album GOAT (1991) that it all came together for me and cemented by love of the band. In my mind the signature JL song has aways been "Nub" with it's acid-tinged slide guitar and propulsive rhythms, particularly when Yow implores "ah, rub it on me, rub it on me Duane" which sends guitarist Duane Dennison into the finishing salvo of fiery slide guitar nirvana, it gets me every time and leaves me wanting more.

THE JESUS LIZARD had a beast of muscular rhythm section, Mcneily and Sims were down right scary tight. On top of that Dennison lays on serpentine guitar that's applied with surgical precision, each jazzy-skree layed on with restraint and nuance, not a wasted note to be found. Over this noise-jam David Yow not so much sings as applies a fury-laced slew of slurred pain. The man at the time of this show was 48, confrontational and screams like a blind drunk preaching the blues while gargling glass.

So, here we are with their first American performance in a decade, a band reunited and what is so amazing is that you couldn't tell - they're steamrolling you like a well-oiled machine. Still threatening, still dangerous, sweaty and belligerent. They kick it off with "Puss" and then straight into thrusting "Seasick". They keep the set list mostly limited to their prime Touch and Go catalog only straying into their Capitol album SHOT (1996) to extract a few gems ("Thumbscrews", "Blue Shot") and never pulling out anything that came after. Say what you will about their major label debut SHOT but I think it's a solid album from start to finish. Those tracks represent their first songs not recorded by longtime sound engineer Steve Albini (BIG BLACK) and the songs certainly have a different sheen to 'em on CD but live they're just great JL songs. Aside from anything played from GOAT ("Mothbreather", "Monkey Trick") highlights from the set for me included the lone selection from the DOWN (1994) album "Destroy Before Reading", the DICKS' "Wheelchair Epidemic" and their medley of CHROME's "TV As Eyes"and "Abstracto Nympho".

The concert is filmed in 4:3 fullscreen and while it's not the most high definition club show you'll ever see it accurately captures the JL in fine form; always better live than on album they're loud, scathing and scary. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround is quite pleasing, too. The band's previous live album SHOW (1994) sounded pretty piss poor as I recall and this is a very decent mix, everything sounds great - the rhythm section is strong, the guitar is razor sharp and Yow stills sounds like someone duct-taped inside of a garbage can thrown into a pool screaming for help from the bottom of the deep end. Special features include a photo gallery of the performance and mp3's of the entire show that you can transfer to your computer and mp3 player, very cool.

Track Listing
•Puss [LIAR]
•Seasick [GOAT]
•Boilermaker [LIAR]
•Gladiator [LIAR]
•Destroy Before Reading [DOWN]
•Mouthbreather [GOAT]
•Blue Shot [SHOT]
•Glamorous[LASH EP]
•Killer McHann [HEAD]
•One Evening [HEAD]
•Then Comes Dudley [GOAT]
•Chrome [CHROME 7"] [TV AS Eyes"and "Abstract Nympho by CHROME]
•Nub [GOAT]
•Blockbuster [PURE]
•Monkey Trick [GOAT]
•7 vs 8 [HEAD]
•Thumbscrews [SHOT]
•Fly on the Wall [DOWN]
•My Own Urine[HEAD]
•Dancing Naked Ladies [LIAR]
•Bloody Mary [PURE]
•Wheelchair Epidemic [WHEELCHAIR EPIDEMIC 7"][orig. by DICKS]

Verdict: A very fine document of one of the greatest noise bands of the 90's. If you're a fan of THE JESUS LIZARD this is a no-brainer. That said, if you're not familiar with band this could be quite a shock to the system, honestly the music here is not for every alterna-rock fan out there. This DVD and the music therein made my wife physically sick and pretty angry, she actually stormed outta the room in disgust, so try not to anger everyone in your household with it unless that's just something you like to do. I saw JL in 1994 with KEPONE and PEGBOY here in Tucson, AZ at The Downtown Performance Center (R.I.P.) and watching 'em again brought me right back to that savage performance, it's good stuff. They're probably not gonna reunite anytime soon so this is the next best thing. If you're not familiar with the band I say check out GOAT and/or SHOT and proceed from there. 3.5 outta 5