"Lizard Skynard"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I got a feeling Mr. Erik Sprague likes to do things a little bit different than the average Joe. Ned Flanders he is not. A guy with green scaly skin, a split tongue and the beetling brows of a Klingon-in-training might just be a little off the beaten path. If you have any doubt, he has helpfully tattooed the word FREAK in giant letters on his chest. Just so you know.

What kind of music might such a reptillian mind create? And who would his scaly compatriots be? With Lizard Skynard, we have our answer. Prepare your mind for some freaky-ass shit that sounds stranger than our pal Erik looks. What a crew he's assembled, too. Big bearded weird-meister Mossy, late of the lamented Heavils, handles guitar chores while cousin Erik Vaughn (hailing from a band called Iron Sausage) mans keyboards and samples. Drummer Johnny Baker hails from scum-grinders Waco Jesus while bassist Russ Gillespie also calls the band Mothertrucker home. This bunch makes Rob Zombie look and sound like Harry Connick, Jr.

And what of Lizard Skynard's sound? It's heavy, it's loud, it's freaked out beyond conception, jumping from slashing thrash to slow oozing riffs to squeaky and scratchy electro-madness. Think of some of the noisy bands of the early 90's, especially on the appropriately named Amphetamine Reptile label, but kick up the heaviness and production a notch. Add the strange twang of the Heavils and analog synth weirdness, And then we have the contributions of Mr. Sprague. Not a traditional singer in any sense of the word, he unfurls monotone monologues of disturbing surreality in lieu of "lyrics". Those in search of sublime goofiness need search no further than "Space Eels", "Fractal Love Song" and the cautionary ode to police brutality "Normal". As Sprague robotically proclaims his lunacy, Mossy conjures up an amazing variety of guitar sounds ranging from screams to squeals to drones.

Typical it ain't. Only for those who hear the lonesome call of the lizard...