Old Man Lizard hails from Suffolk (UK) and was formed in 2011. Above all, they're live band with an impressive number of shows on their resumé. Yet, funny enough, I'm more impressed by this album than with their live performance. Back then I wasn't very fond of the vocals, but now I realise that this is just another aspect for this band. This is not mere a stoner rock trio. There's a lot more going on, including noise rock, psychedelica and vintage hard rock.
The songs on this album are complex pieces of work, driving on immense riffs and loads of fuzz. Although the tempo usually is quite slow, there are very few similarities with doom metal. Throughout the music I hear flashes of influences from Kyuss, Baroness and The Melvins, interwoven in challenging song structures and contrarian rhythms. 'Fawza-Faith' even shows a little bit of post-rock but again, not as we know it. It's just one of the elements floating in and out of the music.
Even in a clean-guitar ballad like 'El-Doctor', Old Man Lizard sounds heavy and psyched-out. When the song gets heavier, there's simply no way way of denying that I was wrong about this band in the first place. Here we're dealing with a tremendous and massive sound which brings a refreshing approach to all things stoner. There's just as much Sonic Youth here as there is Harvey Milk and just as much Swans as there is Sleep. Needless to say that this is quite a versatile album, no?
So yes, almost a year after I first encountered Old Man Lizard, the band finally succeeded in convincing me of their capabilities. With complex songs they divert from most stoner rock bands these days and definitely bring a breath of fresh (be it smoke filled) air to the present day 'desert' scene. This album comes highly recommended if you're in for something new, although it will absolutely please the old school stoner, noise and psychedelic rock fans.