Lizzard "Mesh" 12"

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Color: Black Sheep Edition
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Sale price$28.00

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France-based, prog-rock power trio LIZZARD are out to reclaim the creative, collaborative energy that has fueled them for over a decade. On ‘Mesh’, the band’s fifth full length album, LIZZARD capture the energetic, lightning-in-a-bottle optimism of the late ‘90s post-punk/art-rock scene and reinvigorate it as something empowering, inspiring and simmering with potential.

Having first met in 2006, Katy Elwell (UK/Drums), Mat Ricou (FR/Guitar & Vocals) and Will Knox (UK/Bass) quickly realised they shared not only similar creative influences but also a distinct musical vision. The trio set out to craft an unmistakably contemporary rock sound that sought to resonate emotionally with the listener whilst being unafraid to challenge them too. The result is a heavy, hook-laden sound so much greater than the sum of its parts.

It was the band’s 2007, self-produced mini-album ‘Venus’ that set them on their meteoric trajectory; produced by Rhys Fulber (Paradise Lost, Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly), it caught the attention of progressive rock audiences, labels and contemporaries alike. This underground success lead to LIZZARD supporting acts such as Gojira and Punish Yourself in France before heading to L.A. to work with Rhys Fulber on their debut album proper, 2012’s ‘Out of Reach’, which truly put the band on the map as a poly-rhythmic powerhouse.

Subsequent European tours and shows with the likes of stoner-metal legends High On Fire and iconic fusion drummer Terry Bozzio saw LIZZARD expand their audience significantly and refine their sound even further, with their 2014 live-recorded and self-produced sophomore album ‘Majestic’ serving as testament to their formidable musicianship; darker, deeper and rawer than ever. Hundreds of shows across Europe and the US later, the band returned to the studio to work on 2018’s ‘Shift’ with producer Peter Junge before hitting the road again, this time with prog heroes including ORK (King Crimson/Porcupine Tree) and The Pineapple Thief.

LIZZARD’s incredible momentum was abruptly brought to a halt by the pandemic in 2020. However the band were already hard at work on their fourth full-length album, 2021’s ‘Eroded’, recorded again with Peter Junge and the band’s first release on Pelagic Records. Initially denied the energy of the live performances on which they thrive, LIZZARD eventually toured Europe with Eroded in Autumn 2022 opening for Soen before embarking on their own headline tour in Spring 2023. LIZZARD also used the global lockdown as an opportunity to reinterpret ‘Eroded’ as an intimate, short film recorded live in isolation without any audience. This experience had a profound effect on the trio as their forthcoming fifth album ‘Mesh’ is some of LIZZARD’s most introspective work to date; asking questions of who and what we truly are behind the veil, underneath the mesh of appearances we all use to protect, but more often mask, our emotions and desires.

Recorded by the band in the abandoned factory they use as their creative base and produced again by now long-time friend and collaborator Peter Junge, ‘Mesh’ is LIZZARD unleashing the raw, spontaneous might of their pent up live sound through the production precision of their studio experience. As such, themes of duality and control, whether it’s regaining it or letting it go, run right through the album. Resounding with Elwell’s inimitable, thundering drums and a barrage of colossal riffs, ‘Black Sheep’ explores the dichotomy of body and mind, of black and white, that we all wrestle with on a daily basis whilst the mellow polyrhythms and plaintive melodies of ‘Mad Hatters’ ask pressing questions of the people who are supposedly in charge of society.

Epic album closer ‘The Beholder’ captures the reinvigorated LIZZARD at their bracing best; bittersweet guitar refrains are bolstered by Will Knox’s signature driving basslines and crashing half-time grooves as frontman Ricou considers the great cycle of life from his own perspective. Testament to the band’s formidable compositional prowess, ‘The Beholder’ ends as it starts, a closed loop. With only Ricou’s playful, pithy refrain of “What goes around, comes around” left ringing in our ears, LIZZARD masterfully frame ‘Mesh’ as both a poignant conclusion to the last chapter and as a bright new beginning.

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