Date Released: June 3rd 2014
Label: Wicker Man Recordings
LONE WOLF vs BROWN BEAR - track listing:
1. Hippocastanum Warrior
2. Keiko's Last Smile
3. Return Of The Wildebeest
4. Wolves Wood
5. Rum Guts (Cetopsis Candirus)
6. Don't Piss In The River (Vandella Cirrhosa)
7. Beelzebeer Blues
8. Lone Wolf Vs. Brown Bear
9. Sea Of Witches
In the last two years, Old Man Lizard's recorded output and live shows have attracted the attention of critics and music fans as well as record labels; and 2014 will see the release of their debut album (recorded with Slabdragger's Sam Thredder) on Ampullae Audio records, as well as a split with Earthmass on Big Riff Records. In addition to these two releases, Old Man Lizard are planning both UK and European tours this year - 2014 will be loud... Formed in Autumn 2011, Old Man Lizard wasted no time in recording and self-releasing a five track EP (http://oldmanlizard.bandcamp.com/album/old-man-lizard) showcasing their uniquely heavy and majestic sound.
Complete with beautiful artwork from Michael Dicken (http://cargocollective.com/michaeldicken), the EP quickly gathered attention and critical praise leading to a slew of invitations to play venues all over the country - from converted churches to the legendary Underworld, London.
In their short time as a band, Old Man Lizard have shared stages with seminal bands Dead Meadow, Arabrot, and Honky to name just a few, and have already been booked to play alongside heavyweights Conan and Dopethrone this year. Made up of Jack Newnham (also of Meadows - Superfi Records, Head of Crom Records), Gav Senior, and Dan Beales; Old Man Lizard are a power trio in the same vein as Cream or Blue Cheer, but the influences of contemporary bands from Taint to Yawning Man set Old Man Lizard apart from the often crowded and unvaried sludge and stoner scenes. Not content to retread the same old tired ground, Old Man Lizard make exciting and original heavy music without compromising the art of the riff.
The Band Members
Jack Newnham - guitar and vocals
Gav Senior - bass
Dan Beales - drums
I have been waiting a very long time for this album. And I am pleased to say it's been worth the fucking wait. I originally became aware of Old Man Lizard back in Feb 2012 when I featured their excellent debut EP. It was a stunning blend of Stoner, Sludge, Doom metal riffs.
Well it's time for their debut album – Lone Wolf vs Brown Bear – a highly dangerous and volatile mix of Sludge, Doom, Stoner, Blues and Country music. Now don't let the Country aspect put you off as you will be missing out on something special here.
Old Man Lizard call their music – Stoner Noir/Country-Sludge. Their music is more of a crazy bastardized offspring of TAINT, Torche, Kyuss and Baroness. Now if that doesn't get your attention nothing will.
First track - Hippocastanum Warrior – starts with a fuzzy based slow-paced riff before exploding into life with some heavy pounding vibes being played for maximum effect. The vocals have a crazy psychedelic vibe to them before the band play a soothing country based riff with the doomy sludge/stoner metal riffs unleashing a violent tornado for maximum effect. Hell yeah, I am starting to feel the crazy as hell vibe that Old Man Lizard have running through out the album.
2nd track – Keiko's Last Smile – carries on the distorted crazy riffs once again as Old Man Lizard play one of the albums standout tracks with mega conviction. The vocals add a sense of danger as they fuse Baroness and TAINT style riffs to the mix for one wild ride. The drumming is the main standout here as Dan beats the hell out of the drum skins to show who is BOSS!!!
3rd Track – Return Of The Wilderbeest – is more of a bluesy hard rock number with a punk rock groove being thrown in as well. You can tell by now that the band play by their own rules and they don't give a fuck what anyone thinks. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as it's going to be exciting, loud and noisy as hell.
The album has a distinctive rustic DIY feel to it as the album feels it was recorded outside in the great Alaskan wilderness never mind inside a studio. If you were disappointed by Baroness last album – Yellow & Green and waiting for the loud epic riffs which don't really appear. Well that's what Old Man Lizard have delivered. An album that Baroness should of made but failed to do so. As Old Man Lizard expertly combine different elements for one insane ride you won't soon forget about.
Old Man Lizard make you feel you are stranded in the great outdoors watching the fight that is going to take place on the excellent album cover. The albums last track – Sea Of Witches – is the standout track as it's a pure blues-sludge-stoner metal onslaught of intense riffs which shows you what the band is all about. There is a fantastic hidden track towards the end which earns the bands Country/Rustic tag. It may not be quite Deliverance but it's a superb banjo track to end the album on.
Lone Wolf vs Brown Bear is a brilliant album. Plain and Simple.
Thanks to Old Man Lizard and Hans at Wicker Man Recordings for sending me a promo to review. Lone Wolf vs Brown Bear will be available to buy on CD/DD from June 3rd 2014.
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Written by Steve Howe