Jesus Lizard: Down 12"

Touch & 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.
Tags: 90s noise rock reissues