THIN LIZARD DAWN -- Thin Lizard Dawn (RCA)

If you walk into my office at any given time, you're bound to see a stack of CDs waiting for me to review. Unless a CD really stands out, or comes recommended, it's highly possible that it will be overlooked. The first CD this year to jump out of the stack at me was the self-titled debut from Thin Lizard Dawn. TLD combines several different influences--Beatle-ish psychedelia and chord progressions, the humor and quirkiness of early 10CC, a touch of punk, and a bit of toy piano here and there--to produce one of the most original sounding new albums this year (and some of the best song titles too).

The songs run the gamut from urgent, power pop on "Sexual Dynamo," to Beatlesque tracks like "Pop Life," to trippy songs like "Weed" and "Space" (which sounds a lot like The The on the verses), and just about anything in between. "Anesthesia" sounds like a cut from Thurston Moore's (Sonic Youth) solo album. The last two tracks on the CD--"Sucks" and "Heavily Addicted"--are definitely the most entertaining. Oasis haters, take note--"Sucks" is the tune for you. The song basically trashes the band lyrically and musically with lines like, "Even on my worst day, I never SUCKED like Oasis."

"Heavily Addicted" is the final cut on the CD, and you can definitely say they saved the most interesting track for last. The song 'ends' after about two minutes. After ten minutes of silence, the hidden tracks start. I've gotta admit, I'm a sucker for hidden/bonus tracks, and this is one of the best. Over the next 17 minutes or so (the complete track is over 29 minutes), you'll hear a wide variety of things--the sound of what sounds like a fire burning, followed by complete sweeps of the audible frequency range, a bluesy Sabbath-like tune, some studio chatter, a folky tune with Pink Floyd overtones, plus other assorted odds and ends.

Once you get to the end, the disc practically cries out to be played again. Thin Lizard Dawn's debut is definitely a disc that you'll want to hear more than once--especially if you hate Oasis...

© 1997 Steve Marshall