REVIEW - Dr Haze And The Wise Lizardz - 'And Beyond' (Album)
Like most people I suspect, Geneva's Dr Haze And The Wise Lizardz are a new name to me, but were kind enough to send me a copy of 'And Beyond', their debut album released last week. Taking a late 60s / early 70s psychedelic vibe and mixing it with a touch of stoner rock and fuzzy hard rock, 'And Beyond' is an enjoyable album from the trio (Chester on guitar, sitar and vocals, Sebastien on bass and Robin on drums) that is well worth a go if that particular vibe is your thing.
Drifting in with the aptly titled 'Snow', a languorous, icy, austere opener, following track 'Wake Up' builds from an acoustic intro into a stoner rock blitz of fuzzy guitar riffs, solid bass work, pounding drums and a skilfully employed sitar. It's a vibrant track that shows off the band's grasp of dynamics to fine effect as it finishes on a quieter guitar interlude and blissful vocal harmonies. 'The Temple' is a more relaxed track - all arpeggiated guitars and synth work while the slow, stately 'Open The Gate' is another very late 60s influenced song with splendid unison bass and guitar riffs throughout the track. 'Fire Lizard is another fine track - probably the best on the album - as it builds from its acoustic opening into a fuzzy, heavy piece with dual guitars and an excellent solo over a pulsating section. After another 'link' track - 'The Path' - final track 'Bridge Of Light' begins with another sitar / guitar piece before opening out into another great track with close-knit harmonies, hard guitar riffing and a flowing guitar solo for the outro. A satisfying way to finish this enjoyable album.
'And Beyond' is a 'grower' - it takes two or three plays to fully grasp the general vibe of the album - but once it has sunk in there are many things to like about this record and is recommended to fans of 60s pyschedelia, space rock cadets and stoner rock aficionados alike. A varied and understated gem indeed.
'And Beyond' is available on the all the major digital sites and there is a limited run of digipak CDs from the band's bandcamp page - www.drhazeandthewiselizardz.bandcamp.com