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The Jesus Lizard

Willfully abrasive and atonal, the Jesus Lizard emerged in the early '90s as a leading noise rock band in the American independent underground. During the first part of the decade, the band turned out a series of independent records filled with scathing, disembowelling, guitar-driven pseudo-industrial noise, all of which received positive reviews in underground music publications and heavy college-radio play. By the mid-'90s, the group's following had grown large enough to convince a major label, Capitol Records, to sign the band.

The Jesus Lizard was formed by Duane Denison (guitar), David Yow (vocals), and David Sims (bass), the latter two being former members of the Austin-based post-hardcore noise group Scratch Acid. After Scratch Acid disbanded, Sims joined Rapeman, an abrasive indie rock group led by Steve Albini. The recording and performing schedule of Rapeman was rather erratic, so Sims formed the Jesus Lizard with Yow and Denison in 1987. Originally, the group performed with a drum machine, much like Albini's previous band, Big Black. Albini produced the group's debut EP, Pure, which was released on Touch & Go in 1989; the producer would work on every Jesus Lizard release on Touch & Go.

The Jesus Lizard added a human drummer, Mac McNeilly, in late 1989 and he appeared on the band's first full-length album, 1990's Head. The following year, the group released its second album, Goat, which received positive reviews from mainstream music publications such as Spin. By the time of the release of Goat, the band had cultivated a large cult following among the American indie rock underground, based on both their records and their notoriously reckless, occasionally violent and vulgar, live performances.

In 1992, the Jesus Lizard released a split single with Nirvana ("Puss" [Jesus Lizard]/"Oh the Guilt" [Nirvana]), who had just broken into the rock & roll mainstream with their second album, Nevermind. That same year, the band released its third album, Liar. In 1993, the group was relatively quiet, releasing only the "Lash" single.

Early in 1994, the Jesus Lizard released a one-shot album on Giant Records called Show, their first appearance on a major label. The fact that the Jesus Lizard released a record on a major label caused tension between the band and their longtime producer, Steve Albini, who was notorious for his indie-centric beliefs. Although he produced Down, the group's final Touch & Go album, he severed ties with the band by the time the record was released in the fall of 1994.

In 1995, the Jesus Lizard signed with Capitol Records and the band toured with Lollapalooza 1995. At one of the shows on the tour, David Yow was arrested for exposing himself on-stage. Later in 1995, the group recorded their major-label debut. The resulting album, Shot, was released on Capitol in the spring of 1996. Blue followed in 1998; in mid-1999, the Jesus Lizard disbanded. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Blue is underrated.
.
I gotta stop listening to this stuff at work. People think I am having a seizure when I start slam dancing in my cube.
rajharell
Without peer. Always enjoying the madness.
REALLY ???
I Love this Jesus.
The Jesus Lizard, always fresh, never stale.
you feel old, i saw them in 92. beehive theater pittsburgh pa. smashed against the stage as a naked yow stinking of budwiser reached out and caressed my chin and sung, blearily starring into my eyes. I, as wasted as he was, still remember that stare somehow.
dnhorspool
Saw them play in the 90's in the UK.... totally insane. David Yow is a maniaic - and can somehow sing and stage-dive/c r o w d - s u r f at the same time.
michaeldavid p i e r c e 3
Charlie, i saw that same tour at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI... As I sit in my a/c office and write HR contracts, I feel ya on the oldness...
Liar is my fav.
Fuggin AWESOME band live. I think the last time I saw em was with The Stanford Prison Experiment at the Roxy back in '99.Jeez , that was a long time ago.....crap . . . n o w I feel old!
retropat
Just the name is funny. Is it LI-zard or li-ZARD?
These guys F*cking Rock! David Wm Sims is a beast on the bass
nobody f**ks with the jesus lizard
The first time I ever saw a grown man fully naked in public was at a Jesus Lizard show. Thank you Mr Yow. It appeared to be something the rest of the band were quite used to. (The show was bad-a**--goe s without saying.)
i like it, i like it a lot



Jesus lizards are f**king awesome.
mothlit
yeah
makes me feel all warm and toasty inside
was lucky to have seen them several times...up close. man i miss their show.
noise rock is what is! This is not there best song.
yeah, baroness is irritating music. Denison is a god!
skinnypuppy4 7
great band. i met David Yow and he is f**kin crazy
um.....
all i ever get is "down" - wtf wtf wtf? all this does is make me go to youtube and summon up "nub" pandora get the lead out of your a s s.
bromide01
What else did you see in lwrence,Ks?
I saw the liz in lwrence,Ks.. . rip
bromide01
Ok ok ok. Just mentioning Steel Pole means all is forgiven. Same with Cows.
Well Bromide, I guess "over-hyped" is the wrong word...I should have said that most of my friends proclaimed these guys to be the greatest thing since canned cheese, I just didn't see it that way...and I am not saying that I don't like these guys, because I do....to answer you're question, I was more into Steele Pole, the Cows and Painkiller during that time period...alt h o u g h I dated a chick then who thought Evan Dando from the Lemonheads was "super hot"...but so was she, so I put up with it...
Here I c*m with my dick in my hand!
So glad they're back together! Seeing them in October if at all possible.
I love you Steve Albini.

bromide01
This band was never "over-hyped" . What were you listening to instead of this band? The Lemonheads or Stone Temple Piolts?
i love you pandora im at your service
In the top 5 LOUD bands of all time - NEVER miss them live!
Love 'em. Love you too.
THE JESUS LIZARD is going to be touring in 2009!!!
I saw these guys live twice, they were absolutely insane. Awesome performers.
I always thought this band was a little over-hyped, but fun live..saw them a few times in the early ninties...re c e n t l y saw Yows band "QUI"...they were pretty good, but played too long..they opened for the Heroine Sheiks at Spaceland... t h e Sheiks were great, though...wis h they had some of their stuff on here...
bromide01
I used to go to the "old" 9:30 club. I guess I can hang out with all the cool kids on Pandora now.
KillerDude -- yup, I saw Yow naked onstage. I didn't want to... but I did. Ahahaha. This was at the 9:30 Club (the old one) in D.C. I'll skip the details, but the naughtie parts were not visible.
HAHAHA-they signed to Capitol-aton a l losers
yow got naked a lot, small clubs usually didnt have much of a police presence, and nobody was calling the cops unless someone f**king died or something. the drummer for the afghan whigs got naked a lot too, there are a LOT of bands that were somewhat known for their....nak e d n e s s .

kinda hard to believe that dbonner9, considering thats illegal
come on you smucks your not listening to the mentors grab you r bus ticket to pretending . there awsome butttttt/ forget about it those days will be missed
bromide01
My Pastor once found a copy of a Jesus Lizard album on the bus while we were on retreat. He said, "I'm glad you're listening to religious music now."
Never got to see The Jesus Lizard live. I had friends in Portland Oregon that turned me onto them in the early nineties. Being from the Bay Area I had never heard of them. Now that I live in Austin I found out they are from around here. If anyone is interested check out David Yows other bands the pre Lizard group Scratch Acid and the post Lizard and current band Qui.
DON'T TRY TO BREAK MY ARRRRRRRRRRR R R R R R R R R R R M ! ! ! ! ! ! !
David Yow got naked at every show i attended, pretty crazy live band
As a first year law student, this band's sound pretty well captures my whole experience thus far. Minus the f**king.
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