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The Lizards - Cold Blooded Kings

The Lizards - Cold Blooded KingsThe third CD by American based quartet The Lizards, is a fine journey into classic seventies rock invented by such bands as Led Zeppelin, Free, Bad Company and Deep Purple. The group consists of former singer of Metal band Riot Mike Di Meo, Bobby Rondinelli who was the drummer with Blue Oyster Cult, on guitars is Patrick Klein and on bass is Randy Pratt. Patrick, incidentally, is the band's producer too, and according to the website at the foot of the page, is the Jimmy Page figure behind the group.

The album has the classic tones of the seventies and in true style it clocks in at just under forty-five minutes. This nine track offering is packed with a fine production and performances that anyone in the rock world would be proud of. Opening track The Opal Crest Of Zed is a slow plodder, and in places it touches the Thin Lizzy type riffs. Mike's voice sets the scene, and along with Bobby's fine percussion make this a enjoyable experience. The title track follows, and is a little on the Bad Company side. Patrick's guitar sound is a joy to listen out for on this, with licks that follow Mike's voice. The third track Take A Ride opens with a fine acoustic guitar, and takes me back to the glory days of a certain band called Kingdom Come, and in places has the Thunder influence too. The power riffs are shadowed by a nice rising guitar solo midway through, and the pleasing vocals entice Early morning Sun! I would have to point out, it is my highlight of the album, and on many listens could fall into a favourite rock track in my personal juke box!

Track four is to me 'The Lizards Dazed And Confused' and is simply called Down. It has the classic blues My Baby Left Me sort of tale, but the riffs again take over in a sort of Zeppelin/Free feel. Rising Star is in comparison a commercial sounding track, memories here of early Foreigner. Here the piano and organ make an entrance, and could be a single in many ways. Hyperspace is next, and with the harmonica at the start, it leads into a short boogie with the keys, and is basically an instrumental, with some fine bass playing from Randy. The double bass drum thud is a welcomed pleasure, and the playing from all the band is a joy too, and is the longest track just nudging under seven minutes.

Dark Matter follows, and is again in the Zeppelin vein. If you take Mike away from the mic, and place a certain Robert Plant on vocals, you could have the new line up of Zeppelin here! But no disrespect from Mike, I mean he is a great vocalist, and does a great performance on the whole album. The military start on We Are Dinosaurs bring the deep guitar riffs and backing vocals to the front. The drums from Bobby stand out on this track, and with many off-beats, fills and runs make this notable. Final track Magic Cloud is a short just over a two minute burst, similar to Zeppelin and a chorus what Thunder would produce.

To sum up, there are many bands that fall into the Zeppelin/Purple/Free/Bad Company category, but for me The Lizards shine through with a nice sound. There may be a gap in the market and they could have arrived at the right time, and with a forthcoming tour supporting the Deep Purple legend Glenn Hughes in February 2005, should gain them more interest and sales. This is a creditable album, and deserves a listen.

Danny Mayo

The Lizards

 

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