Spin - 12/92, p.104
"...Singer David Yow leads the scorching Lizard in eight splintering songs, adding enough melodic hooks to entice the masses...erupts like a call to arms..."
Q - 11/92, p.1123 Stars
- Good - "...The Jesus Lizard inherit the puritanical zeal of fellow Chicagoans Big Black but stagger off into far spookier realms...careers through the rapids with startling precision and just about the correct whiff of panic..."
Alternative Press - 11/92, p.58
"...hyperactive and hurried...pounding and pumping...the Jesus Lizard are sex personified..."
Melody Maker - 10/10/92, p.38
"...The Jesus Lizard represents some sort of alternative to check-shirted corporate grunge...stilted, staggering, humping heart attacks of brutalist drumming, seismic bass and cataclysmic guitar. In the correct dosage, the Liz are the biz..."
The Jesus Lizard: David Yow (vocals); Duane Denison (guitar); David Wm. Sims (bass); Mac McNeilly (drums).
Personnel: David Yow (vocals); Duane Denison (guitar); Mac McNeilly (drums).
Recording information: Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL (05/1992).
Imagine the musical equivalent of being scraped across the face with a broken bottle and liking it. Such is the Jesus Lizard's sound. The band's 1991 sophomore album is a study in how musical precision and unhinged aggression took punk to a new level, simultaneously elevating and obliterating all that came before it. The musical trio of Duane Denison, Mac McNeilly, and David Simms were capable of switching from one breakneck riff to another ("Boilermaker"), while at the same time recognizing the almighty power of an unrelenting groove ("Zachariah"). However, all of this near-jazzy musicianship was merely a platform for the demented shrieks of lead singer David Yow.
Arguably the greatest underground live band of the 1990s, the Jesus Lizard displayed all their virtues in perfect form on LIAR. The album blisters with a musical exactitude that can only come from within in a studio, but the lurching, slightly bluesy underpinnings of the tone make one feel as if they are present for the chaos. The Jesus Lizard had almost no chance of achieving stardom, but the laundry list of soon-to-be stars that borrowed wholesale from their sound (Kurt Cobain unabashedly among them) makes clear the sheer impact that LIAR,specifically, and the Jesus Lizard, in general, had on rock music in the 1990s.