Monday, August 11, 2014

REVIEW: Black Lizard - Burning EP

Black Lizard's Burning EP is the perfect use of the EP format.  In four tracks the Helsinki-based quartet build on the foundations set in their self-titled debut LP and explore the fringes of their territory.  Where the 2013 album displayed a masterful vocabulary of thick, crunchy and noisy psychedelia reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spaceman 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Burning EP takes us into the quieter, more sparsely adorned territory that infused BRMC's Howl Sessions or, in my view one of the most interesting albums in my collection, TJ&MC's The Power of Negative Thinking (a collections of B-sides, demos and rarities).  The pace is slower, the instruments more restrained and with greater use of electronics.  The vocals are measured and, on the title track, low in the mix.  The vitality is derived from the judiciously applied textures and insistent bass and percussion, while the vocals and guitars create a moody swirl.

The first track is "Can't You Hear it", which begins with a bluesy acoustic guitar figure and builds to full-blooded, chugging psychedelia.  The following title track is available for you to stream below in its bass-heavy glory.

"Turquoise" is a psychedelic dream pop tune, with acoustic guitar and vibrato effects on the vocals.  It is a lovely song and one of the EP highlights.  The closing track is the stately "Long Gone", combining synths, guitar, and guest vocals from Henna Emilia Hietamaki.

Black Lizard is Paltsa-Kai Salama (vocals/guitar), Joni Seppanen (guitars/keys), Lauri Lyytinen (bass), and Onni Nieminen (drums/percussion).  Burning EP is released via Soliti Music.


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