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Alternative & Indie - Released July 23, 2021 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 23, 2021 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 12, 2021 | Touch and Go Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 12, 2020 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2019 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 16, 2014 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 24, 2014 | Touch and Go Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

The Jesus Lizard's second album followed in the vein of the first with little immediate variation: loud, excellently produced by Steve Albini, plenty of space in the recording to emphasize the sheer force of McNeilly's drums and Sims' bass, and more besides. The little-remarked-upon ability of the rhythm section to kick out some ass-shaking jams spikes up such great numbers as "Nub," which almost predicts Rocket From the Crypt down to the gang-shout vocals, and the slower but no-less-compelling grind of "Rodeo in Joliet" (also one of the band's most inspired titles). Denison's guitar playing seemed a touch more focused at points here, the results almost suggesting such post-punk groove monsters as Gang of Four and even the Pop Group. There's a more evident melodic lead role for his work as well, as the just plain great riff that fires up "Mouth Breather" and his near-countryish twang on "Karpis" makes perfectly clear. Yow, meanwhile, steps ever more into his own persona, his lyrics now downright comprehensible and his singing levels a touch less doom- (and bass) heavy, if no less aggrieved. The staggered vocal overdubs on "Monkey Trick" are a standout, especially when Denison suddenly serves up another one of his surprisingly sweet passages as a bed. Other treats on the album include the opening "Here Comes Dudley" -- in context one of the more non-welcoming greetings around -- and the Morricone-tinged freakout of "Lady Shoes," assuming Morricone scored movies about doctors dealing with some freaky female patients. The whole album seems like a party in hell, not to mention demonstrative proof that there's still plenty of fun to be had with a basic rock lineup; it's all in the matter of how it's handled. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

From the first few seconds, in which "Boilermaker" leaps out of the speakers like a crank-addled mugger armed with a tire iron, Liar captures the Jesus Lizard in gloriously manic and muscular form, and if it sounds a bit less grimy and psychotic than Goat, the album that preceded it, this is still the musical equivalent of a ranting lunatic you would never dream of sitting next to on the subway. While said lunatic would probably be best personified by vocalist David Yow, whose litany of gasps, bellows, and shrieks is freakishly eloquent even when you can't figure out what he's saying, the drill-press guitar of Duane Denison and the constant rhythmic pummel of David Sims and Mac McNeilly conjure up a remarkably convincing re-creation of the noises in his head, and the band's taut, rapid-fire precision and striking command of dynamics (no matter that the silences appeared in split-second bursts) generate a groove that manages to be sensuous and uncomfortable at the same time. And while the crashing force of cuts like "Gladiator" and "The Art of Self-Defense" is what folks commonly associate with the Jesus Lizard, the spaghetti Western nightmare of "Zachariah" shows they can slow down without losing any of their impact in the process. Liar isn't quite the wildest or weirdest album the Jesus Lizard ever made, but it may well be the strongest, and perhaps the best. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

While it was regarded as something of a disappointment when it was first released in 1994, in retrospect, Down stands as the last really vital album from the Jesus Lizard. It lacks the same degree of bone-crushing force and sweaty psychosis that made Goat and Liar instant classics (the band seems to be aiming for a slightly more subtle approach this time out), and most of the songs take a bit longer to sink in. But bassist David Sims and drummer Mac McNeilly were still capable of connecting like Mike Tyson against a speed bag on the heavy tunes, Duane Denison's sheets of chrome-plated guitar are as gloriously fragmented as ever, and there's never been a rock vocalist before or since quite like David Yow. It was also the last Jesus Lizard album to benefit from Steve Albini's spare, dry recording; if ever there was a band that didn't take to a more "hands-on," "user-friendly" production, it was the Jesus Lizard, and between Albini's decision not to work with the group again after they signed to Capitol Records and the departure of drummer McNeilly, this group was never the same in the studio again. Liar was the greatest recorded moment for the Jesus Lizard, but Down captured one of the most powerful American bands of the 1990s in their last gasp of twisted glory. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

With McNeilly in to provide a little more human swing to the proceedings -- appropriate given Denison's own jazz-madness tendencies -- the Jesus Lizard fully launched themselves on an unsuspecting world with Head. The brutal, bass-heavy slam of the music, testament to the uncredited engineering/producing abilities of Steve Albini, gives the whole record a punch that most indie rock didn't have at the time, looking ahead to where similarly minded groups like Helmet (also produced by Albini) would end up soon enough. The McNeilly/Sims rhythm dictates the songs, letting Denison and Yow both find their own way over the chugging brusqueness as they see fit. Yow for the most part sounds like he's singing through a wall or through a huge amount of cotton gauze, making his lyrical tales of violence, twisted living, and the like one for lyric-sheet readers to work out, but the amped-up roars and leers evident in his vocals do a fine job on their own. Then again, the song titles aren't exactly ones to suggest flowers and roses, as "My Own Urine," "Waxeater," and the perfectly creepy "If You Had Lips" make rather clear. Yow's Birthday Party worship is now one more readily shared by the band with McNeilly's presence, the fusion of dark blues and proto-punk rampage -- "My Own Urine," in fact, being a good example of just that -- let to run loose. The stentorian stomp of "7 vs. 8" and the stabbing attack of "Good Thing" in particular might as well be early Cave on the vocals, Yow in mad-preacher mode in excelsis. There's a definite weird playful touch all the band's own, though, whether it's in the sassy strut that starts "If You Had Lips" or even, on the start of "Pastoral," a bit of chiming guitar prettiness. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

The Jesus Lizard's first formal release, this five-song EP shows that the engagingly evil minds behind Scratch Acid songs like "Mary Had a Little Drug Problem" were hardly about to change their ways, certainly not by coming up with a murky, echoed beat-fest called "Happy Bunny Goes Fluff-Fluff Along." The use of a drum machine on this initial release doesn't actually hurt the incipient group too much; if anything, it intensifies the brute punch of the music. Denison's freaked-out sheet-metal-abuse approach to guitar playing gets plenty of moments to rip forth; the teeth-grinding squeals of songs like "Blockbuster" and "Rabid Pigs" are hardly easy listening. Yow oddly sounds a bit distanced and mysterious at many points, almost conversational, but more than once he unleashes his ghost-of-Nick Cave breathless howl. Certainly the chorus on "Bloody Mary" will have most checking for bodies or monsters under the bed. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 19, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 25, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 7, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 12, 2009 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2008 | Touch and Go Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2008 | Touch and Go Records

With lyrics and vocals that are just as ambitious and attention-getting as the music surrounding them, TV on the Radio have always had a lot going on in their music. Indeed, Return to Cookie Mountain was so elaborate that topping it would be difficult, so on Dear Science, (yes, the comma is intentional) the band channels its focus into lean, nimble songs with more structure and polish -- and more focus on Tunde Adepimbe's and Kyp Malone's vocals -- than any of TV on the Radio's previous work. This immediacy and crystalline clarity take some getting used to, especially compared to Cookie Mountain's lavish yet organic sound: "Family Tree"'s strings, pianos, and plainly worded vulnerability make it one of the band's most accessible songs, but it doesn't feel like anything was sacrificed to make it so anthemic. That feeling only deepens on the self-evidently sexy "Red Dress," which uses Antibalas' vibrant brass and taut guitars to show-stopping effect. As Dear Science, unfolds, it becomes clear that it isn't so much a radical change for TV on the Radio as it is a slight but significant shift in approach. "Stork and Owl," an inspired mix of hypnotically looping samples and flowing, real-time soulfulness, and "Love Dog," which boasts some of Adepimbe's most affecting singing since "Staring at the Sun," could have fit easily on earlier albums with a few sonic tweaks. And, like Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes and Return to Cookie Mountain, Dear Science, begins with an epic statement of purpose -- although "Halfway Home" is as sleek as it is grand, sprinting towards its end with streaking guitars -- and ends in an embrace with "Lover's Day," a duet with Celebration's Katrina Ford that turns "I wanna break your back" from a threat to a come-on. Tackling love and war, often within the same song, is all in a day's work for TV on the Radio. However, the band's take on these themes is subtly but notably more optimistic here, as though lightening their sound lightened their mood as well. "DLZ" broods over "the long-winded blues of the never," but on the brilliantly funky "Golden Age," Adepimbe sings "there's a golden age coming 'round" without a trace of irony. Malone's "Crying" calls out the wrongs of the world but ends up just as hopeful as it is angry, while the pun in "Dancing Choose"'s title is pointed enough that the song almost doesn't need to prove that dancing on your troubles is powerfully therapeutic as thoroughly as it does, but that's just another example of this album's rare balance between craft and passion. That comma at the title's end seems naggingly open-ended at first, but it's actually a perfect fit for Dear Science,'s openness to possibilities and positivity. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 21, 2008 | Touch and Go Records