THE LIZARDS

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

New interview with Randy over at
GET READY TO ROLL!

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http://www.rocknrolluniverse.com/rocknrolluniverse_432.htm
RocknRoll Universe review HERE

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THE MAYFAIR MALL
review of
AGAINST ALL ODDS

is
HERE
THE  MAYFAIR  MALL

GET READY TO ROCK!
In a follow-up to the 10 Questions With... Patrick Klein
interview in June, there is another one - HERE

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BASS GUITAR MAGAZINE
An article by Freddy Villano for BASS GUITAR MAGAZINE
can be read HERE

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SEA OF TRANQUILITY have a review of
AGAINST ALL ODDS
online HERE
SEA OF TRANQUILITY

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Review of AGAINST ALL ODDS by Don Gibbs for
www.hardrockhouse.com

Against All Odds is the 4th release from The Lizards, the members of which almost read like an edition of Rock's Who's Who. You have Mike DiMeo (Riot) on vocals, the drum legend that is Bobby Rondinelli (BOC, Rainbow, Sabbath) along with Randy Pratt on bass and Guitarist Patrick Klein. Now, a release featuring any of the above would instantly create a buzz in the music business, but not so with this release. The buzz about this release was the fact that there was going to be a guest singer on some of the tracks, the identity of whom being an extremely well kept secret, and speculation has run riot over the past months with different guesses being banded around left, right and centre. Well, the wait is over. It has been revealed that the guest singer is non other than rock icon Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Trapeze/Black Sabbath). Who can't fail to be impressed with such an awesome line-up.

I had never heard of this group before and was extremely pleased to get hold of a copy of their previous album Cold Blooded Kings to give me a bit of background to listen too. The press release states that this album promises to be the best yet….. well, I ain't gonna argue with that. With this release they have moved things up a notch and seem to be evolving into the thinking mans rock group, with the inclusion of such instruments as violins and trumpets in the production to extremely good effect.

The whole thing about this album is the musical professionalism from all concerned, which includes the production team. The sound quality is crisp, clear and extremely well balanced so nothing gets overshadowed and they have created an album that is very easy to listen to, over and over again.

The Lizards have laid down 12 awesome tracks that never fail to entertain, but they have possibly moved slightly away from the Classic Rock overtones of Cold Blooded Kings (a review of which can be found HERE and have gone for an even more bluesy, funkier sound that seems to be gravitating towards an almost Sanata-ish/Latin Rock sound in places, especially on Cant Fool Myself, Take the Fall and Planck Time where you get a fantastic mix of drums which are heavy on the hi-hats, and have huge guitar fills accompanied by punching horns rising all over the place. Then you get tracks like On a Wire and Bad Luck is Come to Town which are pure 70's classic rock harping back to the good old days and are guaranteed to be hugely popular at live gig's. Add into all that the haunting guitars, intricate vocals, and rousing chorus' on Ariel and the almost compulsory ballad in Revelation No 9 and you have all the hallmarks of an album that will be a hit now, and looked upon as a classic in years to come.

The music is still extremely intricate and compelling with Klein delivering some killer guitar work, Rondinelli attacking the drums with his usual aplomb (handling some very intricate time changes with awesome ease) and the vocals of DiMeo, as always, extraordinary, but add in to this mix the vocals of Glenn Hughes, then you have something that is special, very special indeed.

This is a release full of everything that Rock fans want, an album that will stay in the player for many a week to come. It is an album that never loses sight of what good rock is about and should be on everyone's birthday and Christmas list.

9/10

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Review of AGAINST ALL ODDS by Darrell P. Finley for
http://www.blastmagazine.net/

TRACK - BY - TRACK:
I'm No Good - Bobby kicks the intro off with a small drum fill. The main musical intro section has a very blues feel to it. The bass line and rhythm guitar arrangement of the intro are playing the same notes. This gives the intro a very heavy feel. The band uses the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the verses as the intro section with the exception of for the verse the music arrangement was turned down a little. Mike's vocal lines of the verses are very reminiscent of Joe Lynn Turners. The musical arrangement underneath the vocal lines of the verses were mainly done with just drums and bass. There is a small snare drum fill that leads into the musical change of the chorus. Patrick's backing harmonies of the choruses are very tight and really compliment Mike's lead vocals. There is a huge bass line for the chorus. The lead guitar solo is after the second chorus. The lead guitar scale Patrick uses gives the lead guitar solo an Arabic feel. Musically this was the perfect song too open the CD with! After the lead guitar solo there is a small vocal accent that leads into he outro.
Can't Fool Myself - There is an unbelievably huge bass line underneath this intro section. Even though Patrick is playing simple rhythm chords over the top of this intro he could have been playing anything and the bass line would have drowned it out. If you really listen to Bobby's ride cymbal pattern during the intro section you will see why he has been around since the seventies. There is a huge musical change that connects the intro to the verse. This musical chance consisted of Patrick and Randy playing the same notes. For the pre-verse the band brings the song down a couple of notices. My God 'O' Mighty what a bass line being played underneath the vocal lines of the pre-verse!!!! Patrick pulls back letting the bass line carry the musical pre-verse. Bobby plays a huge drum fill to kick in the first verse of the song. Patrick plays the verse much like the pre-verse, pulled back. There are a few vocal echoes attached too one of the lyric lines of the verse. For the second pre-verse Mike's vocal lines sound like they were overdubbed to give a backing harmony effect. After the second chorus there is a small bass and drum breakdown that leads into the lead guitar solo. At this point in the drum rhythm Bobby incorporated the use of a cowbell. Because of the way this song was arranged would make it a great song to perform live. The lead guitar solo section goes through several musical changes that includes a keyboard solo. Which, has been very uncommon since the seventies. All in all the solo section reminded me of an impromptu musical jam.
On A Wire - (duet with Glenn Hughes) - This blues track opens with a Bobby drum fill. The guitar rhythms of this intro gives this track a very laid back feel. Mike's vocal lines of the verse have a very laid back feel to them. Because Glenn's vocals are so strong they almost over shadow Mike's n the chorus. There is a small musical rest after the chorus. I really liked how Mike and Glenn done the vocals leading into the second chorus. There is a small vocal accent over the musical section that leads into the solo. You can really hear the wah-wah that Patrick used for his lead guitar solo. This is just a very simple grooving blues song.
Planck Time - Instrumental
Ariel - The keyboard arrangement and sound Mike plays for this intro gives this intro a classic seventies horror movie feel. Over the top of the intro section there is a minor lead guitar solo. There is a backing vocal harmony that leads into track six.
My Dark Angel - The intro to this track is actually track five. Mike's vocal lines of the verses have a very haunted sound to them. The crack of Bobby's snare has an amazing sound to it on this track. Mike overdubbed his on backing harmony'sfor this track so they could fade in and out, really adding to the eeriness not the songs sound. There is a small musical change after the second chorus. The keyboard arrangement underneath the lead guitar solo had a Led Zeppelin Kashmir feel to it. For the second half of the solo the music arrangement switched to a more progressive feel. Musically and vocally this was a very cool ballad!
Bad Luck Is Come To Town -The intro of this track consisted of a snare drum fill. The opening pre-verse consisted of a backing vocal harmony section. The musical arrangement underneath the vocal lines of the pre-verse and verse was composed of small lead guitar licks. In the way Bobby plays the drum rhythm of the pre-verse and verse gives the drum line a syncopated sound. There is a huge rhythm chord progression leading into the second chorus arrangement. In between this chord progression there are little lead vocal lines. At times musically you find yourself getting lost within the musical arrangement. The highlight of the bridge before the solo section werelittle Bobby drum solo fills. The lead guitar solo for this track was very short.
Revelation No.9 - (duet with Glenn Hughes) - This track opens with a piano intro section. In between the lead vocal lines of the pre-verse and musical arrangement there is are very subtle lead guitar licks. The band added a small orchestrated section underneath the verse too fill in some of the emptiness of the arrangement. The lead vocal lines of this track were written with Hughes in mind. After the first verse Glenn takes over the lead vocals. Mike and Glenn's vocals on this track just blew me away!!! After listening to this track why would you want to listen to any other duet Glenn as ever done in the past! One of the coolest vocal duets I have ever heard. For the solo section the entire band kicks in and speeds the rhythm up. In the way the band set the arrangement up it is like one song being played in two different ways.
Take The Fall - (duet with Glenn Hughes) - There is a very solid bass line underneath this intro section. Over the top of the intro section there is a very small minor lead guitar solo. There is a small rhythm change for the musical verse. After the rhythm change the band completely through you off by changing the rhythm to a funk style musical arrangement. The keyboard arrangement of the verse as a very seventies feel to it. Halfway through the verse there is a keyboard change. The vocal lines of the song were set up in a standard duet style with Mike singing one verse and Glenn singing the next. The vocal lines of the chorus consisted of both vocalist. The main musical arrangements of the song were kept fairly simple. Mike &Glenn's vocals just blew me away on this track! The back beat of this track has a very solid rhythm to it. There is a very cool bass line during the musical bridge. A Hughes track just would not be a Hughes track without small vocal accents over the top of the musical bridge. After the solo section there is a very cool jam style second bridge that would make a great place too announce the band. After this second bridge there is a second guitar solo. This musical section also consisted of a keyboard solo.
Up The Stairs - (duet with Glenn Hughes) - The intro to this track opens with a drum and bass line funk arrangement. The band keeps the same bass and drum line for the verse as the intro. The musical arrangement of the musical verse was very reminiscent of the seventies funk era. Which was pretty fitting considering this is Glenn Hughes's forte. The lead vocal lines of the verses were set up in a pure duet style. Mike is by far the best vocalist I have ever do a duet with Hughes. Scattered in between the lead vocal lines of the verses are little lead guitar scales. These little lead guitar scales really accent Mike and Glenn's vocals. The backing harmonies of the chorus are some of the best I have heard in a very long time. There is an unbelievable bass line underneath the musical arrangement of this track. The breakdown section was very reminiscent of the 'black exploration' films of the early seventies. The solo that was written for this track had a very blues sound to it. There is a small horn section that was added to the tail end of the lead guitar solo. The musical and vocal arrangement of this track was awesome!!!
Eleven -This track opens with a piano section over the top of a verylaid back drum pattern. Bobby chose to use the woodblock instead of the snare for the drum pattern of the intro section. This really added a smooth feel to the arrangement. The bass line along with the keyboard arrangement of the main musical verse was very abstract in comparison to the intro. Mike's vocal lines of the verse have a very subtle laid back feel to them. The main instrumentation of the verse is drums and bass. There is a musical change for the chorus. This musical change brings the song down several BPM's (beats per minute) to a more ballad style. I really liked Bobby's smooth drum pattern change between first verse and second chorus it is stuff like this that makes great musical arrangements. Or, that is my opinion anyway! There is a very cool breakdown section. I actually do not believe this track has any backing vocals. The lead guitar solo much like the rest of the arrangement had a very abstract feel to it. After the solo there is a musical change with the outro being the same arrangement as the intro.
The Arrival Of Lyla -This track opens with a very heavy drum pattern underneath a lead guitar solo. After the intro the main musical arrangement for the verse is drums and bass with the guitar playing simple chords. The backing harmonies of the verse were great sounding. In the way the guys arranged the chorus gives the chorus a sixties feel. The second verse was done with the lead vocals singing the first line and the backing harmonies singing the next. Vocally this was a very cool song! All in all this was a very simple yet cool song that really shows the band's musical taste.

To me a great CD is one where the track listing of songs engulfs you musically and lyrically. An, 'Against All Odds' does just that! Musically and vocally this CD has it all, plus Glenn Hughes to boot!!! From start to finish this CD is a masterpiece and an absolute must have.

 

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Review of the LIZARDS show in July 2006
at B.B.KING'S with Y&T at...
PIERCING METAL

An interview with Randy for ROCKDETECTOR is HERE

ROCK N ROLL UNIVERSE
An interview HERE with GLENN HUGHES and RANDY PRATT

PIERCING METAL
A review HERE of the recent show
at B.B.KING'S with ULI JON ROTH

Review of the LIZARDS show in May 2006
at B.B.KING'S with MONTROSE at...
PIERCING METAL

GET READY TO ROCK!
10 Questions With... Patrick Klein - HERE

There is a review of the recent show
at B.B.KING'S with TEN YEARS AFTER at...
NEW YORK COOL

ROCKTIMES
Rocktimes interviews Randy - January 2006

PIERCING METAL
A review HERE of the September 11th 2005 show
at B.B.KING'S with MOUNTAIN

STONEROCK
STONEROCK reviews The Lizards Rule

The Metal Observer reviews Cold Blooded Kings

Malcolm Dome's review of Cold Blooded Kings
is in the March 2005 issue of
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE
HERE
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE

Rock N Roll Universe reviews Cold Blooded Kings

PIERCING METAL
A review of
Cold Blooded Kings

Also from Rock N Roll Universe - interviews with Mike DiMeo and Bobby Rondinelli

HardRock House reviews Cold Blooded Kings
and their performance with GLENN HUGHES at Bradford Rio's on February 12th 2005

Thanos Aggelakis from Grande-Rock reviews Cold Blooded Kings

Gryphonmetal reviews Cold Blooded Kings, Lizards Rule, Live at BB King's DVD
and interviews Randy

Music Street Journal reviews Lizards Rule

The Hairless Heart Herald reviews Lizards Rule
and the show at JB's, Dudley on 11th February 2005 with GLENN HUGHES

CosmicLava reviews Cold Blooded Kings, Lizards Rule, The Show Must Go On
and interviews Randy and Patrick

RockPages - George Anasontzis and Sakis Nikas interview Bobby and Mike

Drummerworld interviews Bobby

Metal Rules interviews Bobby

Grande Rock E-Zine - February 2004
To cut it short,The Lizards Rule is an excellent pure '70s hard rock album
and the 'old' fans of this music should not miss this one.
As for the others, just learn that The Lizards indeed rule now!!

Thanos Aggelakis

Good Times Magazine - March 2003
…like 70s classic metal… assaults the senses like vintage Deep Purple… Bassist (Pratt)… tightrope between rock and funk…
Garner’s vocal reach even higher, likened to immortal singers like Deep Purple/Whitesnake shouter David Coverdale
and legendary Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant…
(Klein)… 6 string. Flawless. Tone and dexterity impressive…
(Rondinelli) adds a crushing beat to the Maelstrom, cementing The Lizards ever-encompassing sound…
a fresh spin to sometime stalled rock arena and their star is on the rise… a force to be reckoned with.

Rock and a Hard Place - Summer 2002
The Lizards take from the bluesy funk-laden Classic Rock bands…
From the opening guitar lick of the first-cut Something Higher,” you know you’re in for a treat…
appeal to the Classic Rock crowd, who very rarely listens to anything past '75…
I really hope that more stuff like this pops up.

Outrider Magazine - February 2002
In the '70s, rock fans had three choices - saccharin sappy Fleetwood Mac-ish gruel,
overlong ampblowing guitar-driven funkapopametal, or old records.
The Lizards would have gone right to the top in those days.
Double header shows with The Lizards and Boston would have sold out stadiums across the country.
By '83, Ted Nugent would have been opening for them, that’s how good at it they are.”

Indieville.com - October 2002
…packed this album full of standard - yet funk influenced - hard rockpounding,
funky heavy metal with a gritty attitude and lots of energy…
(Under the City)'s great chorus is almost worth the price of admission alone… very recommended.

Village Voice - April 2002
“On first listen, local stoner-metal foursome the Lizards appear to be yet more youngsters
ripping off Soundgarden ripping off Raging Slab ripping off Black Oak Arkansas.
But then you notice the whirling dervish up front ain't no whippersnapper,
but rather one John Garner, who basically invented stoner metal 32 years ago,
in NY's mythically legendary Sir Lord Baltimore.