the jesus lizard – goat + liar

Then Comes Dudley

Touch & Go Records and Steve Albini: after Detroit, New York and Seattle all had their turn as the underground rock epicentres of the USA, in the early ’90s it was Chicago’s turn, and the Windy City’s noise rock scene didn’t disappoint, giving birth to a host of powerful and  original new bands. The Jesus Lizard perhaps came to represent the Chicago sound better than any other

Touch & Go’s artist roster – Big Black, Rapeman, Negative Approach, Necros, Henry Rollins, the Butthole Surfers, Brainiac, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Slint – was only equalled by Amphetamine Reptile in Minnesota, who had the Cows, the Melvins, God Bullies, Helmet, Chokebore and Boss Hog


Steve Albini, as a recording engineer, has worked with Nirvana, the Pixies, PJ Harvey, the Jesus Lizard, Slint, Helmet and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, to name just some; as an artist he formed Big Black, Rapeman and Shellac

When David Yow and David Wm. Sims, following the break up of their Texas-based band Scratch Acid in ’87, moved to Chicago, Sims did a stint with Albini in Rapeman, before he and Yow teamed up with guitarist Duane Denison to form the Jesus Lizard and record their debut EP Pure, in Albini’s Chicago studioMac McNeilly replaced the drum machine for their subsequent recordings (they said he was better because he could carry gear to and from the van) and over a four year period the band released four full-length albums, all produced by Albini, for Touch and Go Records – Head, Goat, Liar and Down

“There are about three or four good bands in the world. There is the Jesus Lizard who are an outstanding band. There is Fugazi and… I’m really reaching now. There are a couple of Japanese bands, there is one called Zenie Gava(?) and there is another called UFO or Die. I like those bands. I think the Jesus Lizard are one of the most original, most important currently active rock bands in the world. I have a feeling, that to the same extent Led Zepplin inspired every idiot rock band in the last five years, fifteen or twenty years after they gave up, I think the Jesus Lizard will be the equivelant of the Stooges or Led Zepplin in terms of their impact” – Steve Albini 

Monkey Trick

The Jesus Lizard Goat 1991. David Yow (vocals), Duane Denison (guitar), David Wm. Sims (bass), Mac McNeilly (drums). Produced by Steve Albini

  1. Then Comes Dudley
  2. Mouth Breather
  3. Nub
  4. Seasick
  5. Monkey Trick
  6. Karpis
  7. South Mouth
  8. Lady Shoes
  9. Rodeo in Joliet

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Boilermaker live in Boston ’94

The Jesus Lizard Liar 1992. David Yow (vocals), Duane Denison (guitar), David Wm. Sims (bass), Mac McNeilly (drums)

  1. Boilermaker
  2. Gladiator
  3. The Art of Self-Defense
  4. Slave Ship
  5. Puss
  6. Whirl
  7. Rope
  8. Perk
  9. Zachariah
  10. Dancing Naked Ladies

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A split single with Nirvana – Puss/Oh, the Guilt – in ’93 exposed the Jesus Lizard to a worldwide audience, scored them a top twenty hit in the UK and won them a legion of new European fans. Still, the Jesus Lizard were not appreciated on a scale that they deserved, and it was only a small group of people who got them while they were still together. They split in ’99, but reunited for a limited series of live dates in 2009, starting with the All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK and ending with a final appearance in Chicago

“It was weird, and I don’t really understand what’s happened. Ever since we broke up we’ve had offers to reform, from various people, and it’s always really hanged on Mac, our drummer. He’d never previously wanted to do it, and I’d never really blamed him. And then this came about and for some reason his wife was really encouraging him to do it, and so if we could do it with Mac rather than the asshole who took his place (Jim Kimball), then I’m in no position to veto it. And so it was with Mac, and I was like: “Okay, cool.” It’s been really cool to be back in touch with Mac, because before this came about I’d not been in touch with him for something like ten years, and hadn’t seen him for something like twelve years. I love his guts, and it’s really great to be back in touch” – David Yow, Clash Music

David Wm. Sims

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