Artist: The Lizards Title: “4.2.11” Label: Hyperspace Records Release Date: 9/23/2008 Style: Hard Rock/Blues Rock Rating: 4/5
“4.2.11” is the title of the live concert DVD that captures one of the hardest working Rock acts that I have seen in a few years – New York’s own The Lizards. I’ve been fortunate enough to have caught the band in performance a number of times over the past three years and based on their gigs as opener for Cactus, Zebra and UFO, they have managed to build up an impressive following of their own with their tasty Hard Rock meets the Heavy Blues. Their sound is instantly gratifying to those who long for the more traditional style of Rock and Roll as opposed to what is packaged as it for today’s mainstream marketplace and with the four members being excellent at what they do, the entire performance will keep you interested from the moment it starts until it runs its course. If you don’t know about them, well The Lizards are indeed a New York area band whose membership features singer Mike DeMeo (formerly of Riot), guitarist Patrick Klein, bassist Randy Pratt (who also delivers some harp for Cactus) and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath and Rainbow). DeMeo has a super powered Blues voice with some solid range and while at moments he seems to easily hit the heights of someone like Robert Plant, there are moments where he is subtle and reserved like Paul Rodgers. During the set he also offers up some wonderful keyboards and this makes tunes like “Hyperspace” come to bigger and brighter life. Pratt by the same token makes sure to present some of his harmonica skills which bring the Blues aspect of this band to a much deeper level. The first seven numbers of the film come from the bands opening set for Cactus, and we appear to get the full performance from that night as well. Guitarist Klein impresses on every number with one of the purest and cleanest sounds I have heard from a Rock act at this same venue. Clearly he knows not only what he is doing on the guitar but also how to work best in a room like the venerated B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, which is where this part of the footage comes from. Between the sets we find casual band commentary that will enlighten their fans a little bit more about their own lives as musicians and how they have worked together for the benefit of Rock and Roll. The title of the film seems to be a slight nod to the band Spinal Tap, whose amps went to “11”, and my guess is that the “4” references the fact that we can enjoy four different setting of the band in action. Continue reading “4.2.11” by The Lizards→
Artist: Lizards Title: “Cold Blooded Kings” Label: Hyperspace Records Release Date: 12/14/2004 Genre: Hard Rock/Blues Rating: 8/10
The Lizards are not exactly a new band but with the addition of drummer Bobby Rondinelli and singer Mike DeMeo it took on a refreshing new feel. The two join Patrick Klein (guitar) and Randy Pratt (bass) to form a kick-ass Bluesy Hard Rock band. If you are a fan of music along the lines of Led Zeppelin and Gary Moore you will certainly enjoy the type of stuff that The Lizards are delivering. In songs like “Cold Blooded Kings” it’s pretty much straight ahead Rock, but when the tune “Hyperspace” begins its more along the lines of Edgar Winter or Deep Purple. Clearly there is a strong love for the classical styles in the members of the band. Klein’s guitar work is both stylish and full of feeling while Randy’s bass work is smooth works so well. Randy also plays harmonica at times and it works in the context of the music. Rondinelli comes to the band after several years working in Blue Oyster Cult. Rock fans around the world will remember Bobby also for his contributions in Rainbow as well as an album with Black Sabbath and Doro. He is a seasoned Veteran and his work on the album is come of the best drumming I have listened to from him. Vocals are handled by Mike DeMeo who was a member of Riot, a powerhouse Metal act. The music that the Lizards do really showcases the vocal abilities that Mike has. He is also singing very different from soaring Metal epics that require screams and yells. It’s an interesting change, and he does it quite well. Continue reading “Cold Blooded Kings” by The Lizards→
Artist: Mountain Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: The Lizards Label: Sony Music Date: 6/29/2005 Genre: Hard Rock
The Legends of Rock music Mountain would be continuing their 35th Anniversary Tour with a stop at the famous B.B. King Blues Club in NYC. Supporting the show this evening would be The Lizards (a band that now features Mike DeMeo from Riot and Bobby Rondinelli from Rainbow/Blue Oyster Cult). Lizards would be featuring tunes from their last year release “Cold Blooded Kings”, and this music will appeal to any fan of Blues oriented Rock and Roll. There was some great Led Zeppelin feel to the piece and I am happy to report that it conveys very well in a live setting. I was able to briefly talk to the band before they went on and was sad to find out that they would only be playing for 45 minutes this evening. Still, despite this dilemma a good 6 tunes would be performed as well as a drum solo from Bobby Rondinelli. Mike’s voice is crystal clear in a performance and given he also plays the keyboards, the music is full at all times during the set. Patrick Klein had a great guitar tone the entire brief set and he is a stylish player who seems to have a very blues based origin. Bassist Randy Pratt holds it all in place and totally surprised me with the skill he demonstrated on harmonica during one of the numbers. Looking on Bobby Rondinelli I can say that he really needs no words. This man is perhaps one of the best Rock drummers in the business today and any day. His legendary work with Rainbow and most recently the Blue Oyster Cult has made him a welcome addition to the Lizards lineup. I am sure that The Lizards are on an even better path of success based on the addition to these two guys. The crowd reception of them was largely positive and that was nice to see since everyone was a diehard Mountain head in the sold out club. Sometimes those types are not too receptive of the opening acts so this was a great sign for me to observe. The Lizards are set to do some opening slots for UFO when the group returns to the States so if you are a fan of this kind of music I advise you check them out as well. You will not be disappointed.