eMusic Review 0
Noise-rock mutants Jesus Lizard were at the peak of their cult status and in very high demand after a sharing double A-side single with Nirvana in 1993. The hopelessly underground band was ready to take their small step up into the big leagues — major label records, big studio productions, Lollapalooza appearances. You can hear the beginning of that on 1994's Down, their final record for Touch & Go and their last featuring the brittle production of Steve Albini. Lead spazz David Yow hasn't lost any of his manic desperation, nail-bitten exhaustion, blood-curdling screams or even his nauseating fluids (he hocks up a wet loogie in "The Associate"). But his band slows down to a moderate-rock crawl and even makes room for some soaring radio-ready moments like "Countless Backs of Sad Losers" or "Queen For A Day." Guitarist Duane Denison is at his most spacious and reflective in the catchier songs, jazz-blues romps like "The Associate" and muted bummers like "Elegy." But the weirder ones are the real treat, especially how they make room for his spastic Marc Ribot-styled skronk solo in "Mistletoe," the tricky freako-wheedle in "Destroy Before Reading" or the furious jazzbo-riffing in of "50 Cents."