As I sat down to write up a review for Eroded, the latest from the trio Lizzard out of France, I came upon my favorite of all problems when writing about music: how do you even define the sound? Writing about music can often feel like your words miss the mark no matter what you say or use. So much of the experience of listening to music can’t be translated via the written word. Something will be missing from my review, but I still feel the need to describe the experience of listening to this awesome band and their fantastic new record to you all.
The French trio make something altogether indescribable. Defining their sound as prog rock or post-rock or any pithy term would be completely ignoring the entirety of what they do. No words would encompass what they do. There’s clearly a lot of influences being put together in Eroded that mainly focuses on their songwriting talents. All of these tracks are interesting for their complexity and mystery. As if it hasn’t been said enough in this article, just don’t tie the band down to any single idea. Their sound is the sum greater than its parts.
After a lot of thought, the best way I can describe the sound of Eroded and Lizzard more generally is if a prog and/or post-rock group decided to make a late 90s alt-rock record. I get little hints to bands like Bush, Filter, and Fuel. It’s in their riffing, vocal style, and production quality, but to leave it there would be massively overlooking what separates Lizzard from those groups. There are some rhythmically interesting ideas going on in each track that those bands couldn’t do.
Take the track “Blowdown”. After the contemplative introduction from “Corrosive,” “Blowdown” begins with an extremely brash syncopated guitar riff. When the verse opens up, it feels very 90s grunge or alt-rock sounding. I’m honestly struggling for the words as to why Lizzard feels like that to me but it does. It feels like a very idealized version of it where it’s not just a band aping another band who was aping a third one. This feels like that sound achieving its dreams and growing up.
What I love the most about Eroded is basically the back half of the record. “Eroded” begins the shoegaze-y and heady run of tracks on the album that slow everything down just a bit. You’re able to contemplate the band’s ideas a bit better without as much distraction. It shows the maturity of a band focused on their songwriting craft. And just because it chills out a bit doesn’t mean it’s not still interesting. I found every track on the album to be engaging and alluring, maybe the back half even more so than the first. In fact, I’ve discovered this band has been doing that their entire career, and Eroded is the finest example of their songwriting talent. For that alone, you need to hear the record in full.
Eroded is a fantastic work of modern prog and post rock. It has a fabulous sense of history and knows how best to utilize its influences. I thought the production quality harkening back to the late 90s and early 00s was a nice little nostalgic touch on what is otherwise a very modern sounding rock record. I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say that heady modern rock albums are something of a dying breed these days, so you have to jump on these sounds when you know they’re out there. Eroded and Lizzard are doing truly interesting and unique work these days. This band, and this album, are can’t misses.
Lizzard’s Eroded was released on February 19th. You can grab it from their Bandcamp above!