The Jesus Lizard
Shot


3.5
great

Review

by Brendan M. USER (32 Reviews)
May 9th, 2014 | 16 replies | 691 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With the interference of a major label, the Jesus Lizard produce their most accessible record to date.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The Jesus Lizard are a band from the 1990s known for pioneering the loosely defined genre of noise rock. They are characterized by their jagged guitar riffs, elastic bass playing, groovy drumming, and unintelligible vocal delivery. Throughout their time as a band, they released some of the best rock records of the 90s such as Goat and Liar, but for the most part their formula stayed the same for their whole career. Soon though, some found this to be repetitive, and Shot is a prime example of this.

First and foremost, the now legendary engineer Steve Albini is gone. Known for his hatred of major labels, it was expected that he would drop out for their next record though. Due to this, the overall sound changed a lot more than it seems like it would. David Yow’s shouted vocals are now much higher in the mix, which is both good and bad. Whereas on the earlier records he sounded like, as Michael Azerrad said it, “a kidnap victim trying to howl through the duct tape over his mouth.” With his vocals now much more audible, it loses that feel for the most part and instead has a more traditional, alternative rock kind of sound. The strange stops and starts in the rhythm section are also gone for the most part, with most of the songs opting for a traditional verse-chorus-bridge kind of structure. This again can be seen as either an advantage or a disadvantage. The result is a bit more of a streamlined feel than their earlier albums.

The musicianship has certainly improved this time around, but it's quite likely they did more takes on this record than any of the Albini recorded albums. David Sims’s bass playing has improved in particular though, with the elasticity of his earlier material being performed better for the most part. They’ve avoided the complexity of earlier songs such as “Boilermaker”, “Mouth Breather”, or “Gladiator”, and as I stated before, opted for more traditional song structures. The overall sound is much tamer because of this, which despite being more accessible, makes for something the Jesus Lizard were never really about. With all this, the album is much more forgettable than their other albums, despite being a bit easier to actually comprehend.

So what is Shot in the Jesus Lizard discography? It is certainly their most accessible record, but it feels too tame compared to their other albums. They've incorporated a more commercial approach to things, but they haven't quite "sold out". Steve’s absence has left a piece of the puzzle missing for them, but as a whole it is quite solid. Almost everything the Jesus Lizard was known for can be found in here, but the approach is much more commercial and streamlined due to the absence of certain elements. So, Shot is a solid release in the Jesus Lizard catalog, but certainly far from their greatest.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
May 9th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This needed a review badly. Felt like reviewing some more, will probably take a break for a bit though.

Digging: Svffer - Lies We Live

MortimusPrime
May 9th 2014



2887 Comments


dude i wasnt done proofreading for you, i was typing a second comment in the thread

Digging: The Contortionist - Exoplanet

BMDrummer
May 9th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dammit, I'll check the rest and fix them.
EDIT: Fixed, man I'm quick to do things like that. Either way, thanks for proofreading.

accompliceofmydeath
May 9th 2014



4170 Comments


I haven't listened to this in forever. Always preferred the older stuff, but I could probably stand to jam this again. Cool to see this reviewed.

Salvidian
May 9th 2014



689 Comments


"The Jesus Lizard are a band from the 1990s known for pioneering the loosely defined genre of noise rock."

I'm going to be a jackass and nitpick here. You're making noise rock sound like it originated in the 90s, which it didn't. It was being perfected in the late 80s. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_rock) I know it's pretty specific, but still.

"avid Yow’s shouted vocals are now much higher in the mix"

Are now? Probably not the best choice of words. There were a few other times were you used the present tense when describing the making of this album, which creates a weird atmosphere.

"They haven’t “sold out”, or anything like that, but this is the closest they probably came to doing that."

Not the best way to describe the sound. I'd say they opted for a slightly more mainstream sound.

Otherwise review was great. Conclusion was damn fine.

BMDrummer
May 9th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know that noise rock was almost perfected by the late 80s, but the Jesus Lizard are considered pioneers of the genre to an extent.

Gwyn.
May 9th 2014



14866 Comments


You don't have to be a part of the decade that a genre was made to be a pioneer in its innovations, Noise Rock was still a relatively young genre by then. And this band was formed in 1987.

Good review.

Digging: Buzzov-en - Sore

Relinquished
May 9th 2014



24398 Comments


yo props for the OXBOW shoutout, they are horribly underrated everywhere

BMDrummer
May 9th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They are, I saw them in the documentary Blood, Sweat, Vinyl and they were signed to Neurot Recordings.

Polyethylene
May 9th 2014



3049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sporadically brilliant album

WeepingBanana
May 10th 2014



10040 Comments


i really should check out their latter 3 albums just out of curiosity but i've been listening to Head a lot lately

Polyethylene
May 10th 2014



3049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Blue is wonderful

BMDrummer
May 10th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Never heard it myself, it's more experimental right?

Polyethylene
May 11th 2014



3049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well def the most experimental sound palette of any tJL album (electronica creeping in etc) but the vox are cleaner/more melodic than ever so difficult to say

BMDrummer
May 11th 2014



3858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds intriguing, maybe I'll review that one too.

Polyethylene
May 11th 2014



3049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been planning to write a defensive review of it yeah, it gets zero love on this site



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