Out of Reach from French rock band Lizzard is one of those releases which is not going to exactly set the world alight but ensures with accomplished ease that the time in its company is highly enjoyable and satisfying. It is a release which draws from many seeds and influences to create its own commanding and attentive sounds to fully engagement with. Often new interpretations of existing recipes with some fresh imaginative ingredients can be as pleasing as any new invention; Out of Reach is the certain proof.
Lizzard was formed in 2006 with the meeting of vocalist and guitarist Mathieu Ricou, drummer Katy Elwell, and bassist William Knox. Finding a common musical vision the trio set about creating their own unique and powerful rock sounds, and from their demo La Criée the following year the band began grabbing close attention and acclaim. Shows around France followed as the band released their mini album Venus in 2008, all the time strong responses, reviews, and fan reception building. The past couple of years saw Lizzard sharing stages and supporting the likes of Gojira, Punish Yourself, Loudblast, Enhancer and more, again furthering their stock and standing within rock circles.
Last year the band reunited with Rhys Fulber (Paradise Lost, Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly…), who they recorded Venus with, to record their debut album which sees its release through Klonosphere/Season of Mist. The result is a collection of songs which ripple with craft and impressive songwriting. They have a distinct individuality from others whilst pulling many essences from bands to tone their appealing presences. It is a fine line the band walk, bringing a sound which has its own breath whilst using open influences in its creation but they achieve it with success.
The album opens with the powerful and impressive Disintegrity. It is a song built on striking riffs and a seductive groove fuelled by beckoning melodic whispers. With its crunching bass tones and commanding rhythms, not to mention the fine expressive vocals of Ricou, the track more than echoes the crisp sounds of Sick Puppies. There is a definite similarity which is moved into a different element by the sharp guitar play and imaginative twists in direction. Sometimes they are subtle, mere aural winks but always noticeable.
The following track The Orbiter adds extra coarse energy to the air through the perpetually impressive bass sounds of Knox and the incendiary guitar craft of Ricou. Like many of the songs it is one you feel you already know though its passage is a continually new unveiling, the effect making the enjoyment all the more instant and compelling. As it plays mixes of bands such as Tool and Soundgarden come to mind to which you can easily add spicery from the likes of Foo Fighters and Nonpoint too.
As the likes of the title track, Loose Ends, and the excellent Fake World share their varied and impressive invention, the album continues to capture the imagination and enthusiasm. It does not take one into new inspiring realms but is as potent in igniting pleasure from a band that feels like a new but destined to be friend.
The two instrumentals Skyline and Backslide are more than decent, the first the lead into or at least atmosphere setter for Loose Ends, and the latter a fiery piece of sonic expression. Both do not exactly over whelm the ear but do not feel out of place within the context of the album.
Twisted Machine stands alongside the first two tracks as the biggest highlights on Out Of Reach. It is a pulsating and snarling piece of rock which is full of intrigue and inspiring energies to leave one absorbed by its imaginative and infectious adrenaline driven attack. Once more it reminds of Sick Puppies which is not a bad thing as the track shows.
Out of Reach is a great album which is full of passion, skill, and undemanding but riveting songs, what more could you want?
Ring Master 19/10/2012
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