The Jesus Lizard


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The big difference between the Jesus Lizard's first major-label album, Shot, and their independent records mainly lies in the fact that their long-time producer, Steve Albini, is no longer behind the boards. Albini was reportedly infuriated that the band decided to make the plunge to a major label for their brief EP for Giant Records, so he cut off all associations with the band. The Jesus Lizard hired GGGarth Richardson, who had previously cut albums for the Melvins and L7, so his noise-rock credentials should theoretically all be in place. But they're not, at least on Shot. The album sounds too similar to a conventional, major-label alternative hard-rock album with pushing rhythms and distorted guitars with clean attacks. David Yow still screams his vocals and Duane Denison's guitar riffs are appropriately gnarled and twisted, but the album is in desperate need of the grit that Albini's abrasive lo-fi productions lent to the band's earlier records. Furthermore, the Jesus Lizard hasn't progressed musically since the early '90s -- they still churn out the same, noisy post-Butthole Surfers/Big Black indie-rock as before. Since the music doesn't have the same scathing kick as it did on Goat or Liar, Shot just sounds like a pointless exercise in treading water.

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