The Jesus Lizard

Jesus Lizard [DVD]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

A powerful and energetic set from October 4, 1994 at the Venus De Milo club on Lansdowne Street in Boston, taped directly across the street from the home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park. The DVD has lots of Boston connections, utilizing footage from Hype TV DJ from WBCN, Shred, who conducts a fine interview while the attorney for that TV show turns out to be Dave Herlihy, a regional figure who was signed to Epic with his group, O Positive. The Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow is superb on this, and though you won't figure out a word he's saying the performance is very Jim Morrison-in-the-ozone while the band crisply plays a tight but still chaotic combination of simultaneous sounds. From "Destroy Before Reading" to "Fly on the Wall" and beyond, the tape captures a group at a very powerful moment in their career with Yow, sweaty and sensual, gliding over the audience -- surfing the sea of hands -- and pulling some intriguing stage moves that should have delivered this group beyond the underground. Duane Denison's guitar is high end enormous while drummer Mac McNeilly and bassist David Wm. Sims concoct an ominous low end to complement it. The camera work is brilliant, capturing the good-looking photogenic gents in all their glory from a variety of angles. There are five additional tracks from August 29, 1992 at CBGBs and they are just as terrifically driven, though the audio is even more lo-fi and came to the project courtesy of Merle Allin. Allin backed up one of Boston's most legendary female vocalists, Barb Kitson of the Thrills, but he is probably better known as the brother of G.G. Allin -- as well as the bass guitarist for G.G.'s Murder Junkies -- so it makes perfect sense that he'd document the show -- or be able to get ahold of a video of the New York performance. Michael Azerrad's liner notes on the two-page insert read like they're straight out of Creem, and that's a good thing. At 65 minutes you get the two performances and DJ Shred's interview with singer Yow. A wonderful package of borderline hardcore rock & roll from an important and highly entertaining unit.

blue highlight denotes track pick