Lizerrd's 'No Matter What You Have Done' is a heavy record 

It is no coincidence that Nathaniel Shannon's cover art for this (vinyl only) record closely resembles that of Baba Ram Dass's great 1960s tome of spiritual and metaphysical enlightenment, Be Here Now (also the title of the first track here). Like that book, recurring themes through the record are that of transcendence, forgiveness, the ephemeral nature of life, and the eternity of the bonds of friendship and love.

But this is no hippie-dippie, sentimental claptrap. This is a heavy record — both in terms of lyrical content and sheer sonic force. This record was made to be played loud. No coincidence, too, is the moniker — the band started out as a one-off among friends, uniting to play a few Jesus Lizard covers for Halloween. Lucky for us, they had so much fun that they decided to write some songs and make it a going concern. Musically, the band still shares some of those trademarks — guitars that alternately grind and soar, a pummeling rhythm section — but ultimately the record transcends these inspirations. At times the vocals (courtesy of Anthony Gentile, who you might remember from Jehovah's Witness Protection Program) are saturated with drunkenness, but not with drink — it's more the sheer intoxication of volume, and the catharsis of screaming in front of a band charging ahead like a locomotive.

Recorded at High Bias, the record sounds great; every buzz and rolling rhythm is captured crisp, crunchy, and clean. The brevity of it — six songs in about 20 minutes — only adds to the rush you experience listening to it. It's nearly over when it starts, and then, like the Ouroboros pictured on the inside sleeve, you want to put it on and hear it all again.

More by Michael Ross

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