THE LIZARDS – Against All Odds

THE LIZARDS - Against All Odds


Release date: August 1, 2006

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The Lizards band is the brainchild of bassist Randy Pratt (who just happens to appear in an upcoming issue of Bass Guitar Magazine) and guitarist Patrick Klein. The two remaining band members are vocalist Mike DiMeo (who hails from the Heavy Metal group Riot) and Bobby Rondinelli (who has toured and recorded with such bands as Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Blue Oyster Cult).

To date, The Lizards have released four CDs (Against All Odds being the fourth) and two live DVDs. Their most recent CD, Cold Blooded Kings, a masterwork in Hard Rock had fans and critics raving about its brilliance. What does Against All Odds bring to the table and how does it match up against what fans have come to expect?

With this release hails a mystery guest star … none other than Glenn Hughes (legendary bassist/vocalist from Deep Purple/Trapese/Black Sabbath). Glenn sings on four tracks, “On A Wire,” “Revelation No. 9,” “Take The Fall,” and “Up The Stairs.” As an added note, he sings and plays bass on another song for eventual future release. Glenn was quoted as saying, “They were the best sessions I’ve ever done outside my own music!” — referring to his work with The Lizards on this album.

Looking at it song-by-song … (in order as they appear on the new CD):

(1) “I’m No Good” – It’s clean and tight with nice vocals at just the right volume. Mr. DiMeo doesn’t drown out his band members playing or singing with his voice. What is extra special is that the words are audible and understandable. With some bands today grunting their lyrics instead of singing them, it’s an added pleasure and most welcome. Some Zeppelin Déjà vu shines through too.

(2) “Can’t Fool Myself” – The one thing that stands out in this lengthy jam of more than 9 minutes is the bass playing talent of Randy Pratt. He uses a 6-string bass (which is rare among Rock musicians today) to really shake the house down and it is quite noticeable. Great keyboards, guitar, bass, and vocals in this song. This could be a Deep Purple track for all anyone knows.

(3) “On A Wire” – This is the first song where Glenn Hughes appears. There’s a nice vocal duet thing happening on this one with Mike DiMeo.

(4) “Planck Time” – This track is an instrumental with the addition of a harmonica. Patrick Klein’s short guitar solo really adds some spice to this song.

(5) “Ariel” – A short song of less than three minutes, there’s a beautiful intro by Mr. Klein with the keyboards doing their own thing in the background … a much slower tune than the last four songs, with wonderful sounding guitar work throughout.

(6) “My Dark Angel” – The song opens with a strong, constant bass line, followed by great-sounding guitar work. The keyboard seems to match the vocals well, making it one of the songs that stand out on the CD.

(7) “Bad Luck Is Come To Town” – A typical Rock tune where everyone tries to showcase their instruments and style of play. It turns into a clever little jam.

(8) “Revelation No. 9” – The vocals are the highlight of this tune as Glenn Hughes adds his unique style, which is quite evident while listening. The guitar comes in at just the right time, followed by the rest of the band.

(9) “Take The Fall” – This song opens with a punch … there’s strong vocals that lead into a funky jam that is Bluesy and Jazzy at the same time. The guitar takes its own spotlight as does the keyboards in this one. With a strong finish, it’s one of the better tunes on the CD.

(10) “Up The Stairs” – A track that has a Funky/Jazzy groove style right from the get go. Mike DiMeo seems to alter his singing voice on this one to stay in synch with the style of this song. There’s some great guitar and bass work, and the horn section shines bright. KC And The Sunshine Band would love this song!

(11) “Eleven” – The piano and string section opens this song. Nice orchestration conducted in a fashion to not be overpowering and it doesn’t drown out the rest of the bands instruments. The drumming really stands out with the bass and guitar in the background. Another good song.

(12) “The Arrival Of Lyla” – For a minute, one might think The Who is opening, with the song’s strong bass and drums. The vocals are on the money again and the guitar hits some eerie sounding high notes. After The Who-ish opening, this tune has an overall Styx sound to it.

Overall assessment this CD is a very good one. The band is full of talent and it comes through on Against All Odds. Actually, there doesn’t seem to be a bad song on the whole album! If one was hard pressed to find some fault with the band or its music, it would have to be in the naming of the band. The Lizards as a name just doesn’t seem to fit their style of music for some reason. Ummmm … hard pressed was mentioned, wasn’t it?


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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