For an album titled True Misery (Wasted State Records), Old Man Lizard never sound like they’re sticks in the mud or total bummers. I mean there are patches of Sabbath gloom all throughout this third LP, but it never reaches Primitive Man suicide watch levels of anguish. And maybe it doesn’t have to either.
Old Man Lizard’s brand of Doom isn’t in the misery business as much as they’re in the riff delivery business. And believe me, business is good. Guitarist Jack Newnham sets a weary tone during the opening of ‘Tree of Ténéré’ before laying down an almost Surf Rock twisty riff with buckets of swagger and confidence to prop it up. Of course, this sneaky beast of a riff has a fresh coat of low-end thickness to further magnify its shine. It’s the type of song that Baroness knows all too well about.
Not to be undone, Newnham pulls off the trick again with the massive riff and groove of ‘Trees Fall Down.’ And it certainly seems like a forest worth of trees is collapsing unto the earth as that behemoth guitar line is allowed to go unchallenged by vocals for the better part of three minutes. Newnham really takes it out for a walk here and splashes in what can be discerned as some organ-playing to round out the number.
The feeling of dread promised by the album title comes closest to home on the not so subtly titled ‘Misery Is Miserable.’ But don’t be dismayed by goofy titles as the waves of amp noise coming down like a deluge is interrupted by some Pink Floyd inspired guitar wails and some bluesy exchanges late on the track.
It may not be blood and fire the whole time, but here’s to more misery!
8 / 10