Listening Post

LIZARD LEAGUE: Saturday, April 3, at the Side Door, Give Her a Lizard will reunite for their first show in four years, the result of a magical alignment of stars and planets (and the simple truth that all the band members are in town at the same time for the first time since they quit making music together in 1995). Those (honestly, like myself) who never heard or saw GHAL while they were active but know that the group spawned such local luminaries as Bunnygrunt and Mr. Pink Jeans, and also know that a couple of members went on to perform in the final incarnation of the sorely missed Lydia's Trumpet, will wonder, who were they? "Pre-Nirvana college rock," answers guitarist Matt Harnish, "harking back to the era of, say, the Connells; late '80s, early '90s -- one could say 'jangly.' We used to pack them in at the Wabash. It was a weird crowd that you wouldn't have seen anywhere else." That weird crowd, judging from the sound of their second CD, Scoots Bacon -- Here Come the Franpakens! appreciated that jangle and those hooks, and though the sound is somewhat dated in the same way that post-Nirvana college rock is, the songs are strong. "It's sort of like Love Tractor, where I liked it at the time. If I listened to it now, I'd say, 'Hmm, I sure liked that at the time. I think as a band we were getting better after we put our CDs out. We sort of broke up as we were getting better, because people moved out of town and stuff."

-- Randall Roberts

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