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(39:40, 'Lizards Exist')
TRACK LIST: 1. Bamija 7:48 2. Ljetni Hit 7:01 3. 58 7:41 4. Anunnaki Dance 17:10 LINEUP: Boris Brozovic – drums Sinisa Mraovic – guitars Tihomir Zdjelarevic – bass Roko Margeta – keyboards, Mellotron
Prolusion. The Croatian band LIZARDS EXIST was formed in 2010, and the line-up completed in 2013. The stated aim of the band is to spread their influences from the 60s/70s Kraut and British progressive rock scene to the audience by using only 100% analog vintage equipment (pre 1976). Their self-titled debut album was self released towards the tail end of 2014.
Analysis. While the album track list states that this CD consists of 4 tracks, in reality we're dealing with a three-part suite followed by one epic-length composition. Two tracks in other words, although I think I understand why they chose to separate the opening one into three different parts. It also needs to be stated that the brand of progressive rock that is explored by the band resides firmly within the psychedelic and space rock realm and that the band is an instrumental one at this stage. Like many other bands active in these landscapes their material also tends to have an improvised spirit to it. The three-part suite opens up with an excursion into a more floating and changing space rock affair, with liberal use of twisted and distorted instrument effects, hovering on top of a firm and steady rhythm foundation. From flowing sequences to more sharp and chaotic interludes, this is a cosmic laced take on psychedelic rock that bears just about all the trademark space rock idioms you might imagine from a band exploring these territories from a vintage equipment approach. The second part filters this through a more blues-oriented arrangement, complete with sections reminding of The Doors as well as Steppenwolf, despite the band's claim to be oriented towards UK and German oriented expressions. The music is still loose, changing and fairly cosmic, but touch base with the blues in a markedly stronger manner. Much the same can be said about the third part, but on this occasion with more of a jazz rock and funk-tinged filter applied to the proceedings. The second track kind of collects all the threads from the first three-part creation, and then expands the sonic palette with an elongated, trippy section that operates out from an almost ambient foundation. All of this has a strong improvised feel about it, and the musicianship is excellent through and through. The band moves, changes and develops the landscapes explored in a seamless, exemplary manner, maintaining a flow and a strong sense of continuity even when the music is at its most chaotic. Echoing guitar details, twisted guitar effects, surging vintage keyboards and retro organ sounds are all important aspects, and the good, old Mellotron is dusted off on a couple of occasions as well to provide a more mystic sheen to the proceedings.
Conclusion. In the realm of instrumental, retro-oriented space rock Lizards Exist comes across as a quality band with excellent musicians that truly masters what they attempt to do, and I hope they will reappear with more material at some point in time. If you tend to fancy music of this kind, this album should be regarded as a quality addition to your music collection -perhaps not an amazingly brilliant album, but at least a high quality and solid release in my book.
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