Album Review

Oh Colour

Oh Colour

by Alizarin Lizard

7 / 10
11th November 2011

Reviewed by Ricardo Kerr

Never has it been more attractive to churn out albums full of short sharp jolts of agit-pop. With this approach in mind, enter Alizarin Lizard, a ragged four piece from Dunedin, a city that is punching far above its weight when it comes to nurturing our country’s burgeoning musical talent. The band’s biography touches on them using music as a form of escapism, describing them as “four young men intent on avoiding the real world by living in one huge musical party until it all goes horribly wrong”. Having listened to the new EP, Oh Colour, from these four young men (Paul Cathro, Bugs Miller, Ben Sargeant, and Logan Hampton) I can say that it is a mission accomplished on all accounts.

‘Ruby Peacock’ wastes no time hooking you into their world of fractured pop melodies and pretty songs that can turn ugly at the drop of a hat. The self-aware handclaps and harmonies bring to mind one of New Zealand’s most treasured alt-pop misfits: Connan Mockasin. ‘Mad As A March Hare’ makes its first of two appearances with a riff culled straight from classic Motorhead and the adrenaline that flows follows suit. Perhaps the raw, unchecked ramblings of ‘Letter’ or ‘Not Addicted’ (both presented as live recordings) will remind you of Bleach-era Nirvana or The Pixies’ Doolittle. Those albums also tried to hide their inherent pop song writing sensibilities under blankets of nihilistic mucus. The live version of ‘Mad As A March Hare’ that closes out the EP ends with a weary, “Thank you very much”. It is us that should be thanking them for letting us peak through the keyhole into their bizarre world.

The songs barely crack the two minute mark which does not afford the song writing much in the way of extravagance or frills of any kind. So what you get instead is the undiluted core of each song that gets to the point and drops off before it overstays its welcome. The three studio recordings and three live songs (including one song that lands in both categories) that makes up the Oh Colour EP make for a brief but focused listening experience. The real problem with the length is that Oh Colour ends up being a memory of six songs that flew by and left little impression. To see such a thing performed live in a dingy bar somewhere, the kind with beer and sweat dripping off the walls would be another thing all together. If nothing else, this EP should make more people interested in catching Alizarin Lizard live. If Oh Colour can accomplish that meagre goal and convince you to do so then it is ten minutes of your life well spent.

Mad As A March Hare
Mad As A March Hare, by Alizarin Lizard
From: Oh, Colour, (2011)

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