The Lizards - 'Reptilicus Maximus'


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THE BAND:

Mike Di Meo - vocals
Patrick Klein - guitars and backing vocals
Randy Pratt - bass & vocals
Bobby Rondnelli - drum
Scott "the doctor" Treibitz - keyboards


TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Ton On The One" - Featuring David Lanik (Sharks) on lead guitar.  Before going into the main musical intro this track opens with a snare drum and tom-tom fill.  The rhythm guitar of the main musical intro consisted of a Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) influenced rhythm guitar arrangement. Mike sings two vocal accents over the top of the musical arrangement of the musical intro.  There was a musical rest underneath the first three lyric lines of the first two measures. The only music underneath the lyric lines was a hi-hat pattern.  The actual musical arrangement kicks-in underneath the third lyric line of both measures.  I think this was the first time I had ever heard a song be arranged in such a manner and I have to say it was very unique and cool.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. The chorus was kept very short and simple.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  The coda consisted of a Bobby snare drum/tom-tom fill.

2.) "Evil Eyes" - Featuring Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush) on led guitar. This track opens with a short snare fill before going into the main musical intro.  There are two musical accents over the top of the minor lead guitar solo of the intro.  The minor solo had Frank Marino's sound so I would guess to say he is the one playing the minor lead guitar solo.  There are two separate rhythm arrangement for the musical verse.  One of these arrangements was the same arrangement that was used for the musical intro.  There not only a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus however in between the rhythm guitar and lead vocals there was a minor lead guitar solo.  The minor lead guitar solo continued throughout the musical chorus.  After the last couple of lyric lines of the chorus there was a rhythm guitar change.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  I never as a huge Mahogany Rush fan.  However I must say of the Mahogany Rush songs I have heard this was by far one of the best Frank Marino lead guitar solos I have ever heard.  The blues was just dripping off of Frank's finger tips!  In beteen the solo there was a short musical breakdown.  This was kind of weird yet very cool place to put a breakdown section.  Frank's lead guitar solo run underneath the final chorus and over the top of the coda.
3.) "Incurable" - This track opens with Bobby playing a snare drum fill.  This fill was either played with a bass drum added or played with two different snare drums, one with the snare turned on and one with the snare turned off.  The musical intro consisted of a harmonica solo.  The musical verse was arranged with a harmonica in between the first and second lyric lines.  The third lyric line consisted of a backing harmony.  There also was a harmonica in between the seventh and eighth lyric line. on lead guitar.  There was a snare drum fill musical connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  The musical chorus consisted of an arrangement change.  After the first chorus there was a breakdown section.  For this breakdown section Bobby switched from a standard hi-hat drum pattern to a tom-tom pattern.  Once you hear the drum fills especially the ones on the breakdown you hear why Bobby has been around since his days with Rainbow in 1981 on their 'Difficult to Cure' release.  The rhythm guitar riffs of the breakdown section had an American Indian sound to it.  There was a second rhythm riff underneath the main Indian riff.  After the breakdown there was a keyboard solo.  The keyboard solo lead to a second breakdown section.
4.) "Crash" - Featuring Vinnie Moore (UFO) - This track opens with lead vocals over the top of a piano arrangement instead of an actual musical intro.  After two measures the band kicks-in the song.  This is where is intro kicks-in.  The intro consisted of two guitar rhythms playing the same rhythm arrangement.  There was a short snare drum fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  Mike's vocals on this track as amazing.  There was a rhythm change underneath the last lyric line.  Then another rhythm change for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus there was a Vinnie Moore lead guitar solo.  The solo he wrote for his solo ranks up there as one of his best next to his latest stuff with UFO.  after the solo there was a breakdown section.  After the breakdown there was a second lead guitar solo.  There was a spoken lead vocal over the top of this second lead guitar solo.  This second solo was better than te first one was.
5.) "Crawlin’ King Snake" - This intro opens with a drum and bass line.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the bass and drum line. The minor lead guitar solo ran underneath the lyric lines of the first verse.  Mike changed his vocal sound for the chorus. There really wasn't much of a rhythm change for the chorus. There was a couple of guitar harmonics added to the rhythm guitar arrangement connecting the first chorus with the second.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  One of the things I really noticed was how hard Bobby was hitting his snare drum for this track.
6.) "In The Pleasure Dome" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section.  The minor lead guitar ran underneath the lyrics of the first verse.  Mike double-tracked his vocals of the third lyric line of the verse.  Mike's vocals h d an Arabic feel to them.  After the first verse there was a rhythm guitar change.  The chorus had a weird hook attached to it.  The minor lead guitar that they used for the intro was also used to connect the first chorus with the second chorus.  After the second chorus there was a keyboard solo.  As the solo progressed the band speeded the beats per minute up.  After the keyboard solo there was a musical rest that consisted of a very short Bobby drum solo.  I just loved the Arabic feel this song had.  I think most bands should experiment more with this style of  music because it works so well with rock and heavy metal music.
7.) "Wild West" - This track opens with a fairly standard intro.  The band used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro. Mike double-tracked his vocals on the third and sixth lyric lines.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus there was a rhythm arrangement change to connect it with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a small breakdown that lead to a lead guitar solo.  After the solo there was a second breakdown section.  This second breakdown consisted of a minor lead guitar solo.
8.) "Pray For Peace" - Featuring Neil Cicione (Rickity) on drums. - This track opened with a backing harmony before going into the musical verse.  The musical verse opened with a minor lead guitar solo.  The rhythm guitar of the verse had a very simple sound to it.  After the verse there was a spoken vocal line before going into the musical chorus.  After the first chorus there was a lead guitar solo that lead to a breakdown section.  After the breakdown there was a second lead guitar solo that ran through the coda.
9.) "The Rat’s ‘N Us" Featuring Teddy Rondinelli (Vanilla Fudge). -  This track features Bobby brother on guitar.  This intro opened with a hi-hat rhythm and a bass line.  The hi-hat and bass line reminded me of something you would have heard as a seventies TV cop series as the theme music (First thing that came to mid was Barney Miller).  About a measure into it a rhythm guitar kicks-in along with a standard drum rhythm.  The band used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one they used for the main intro.  For some of the lyric lines the audio engineer used a studio effect on Mike's vocals.  or the chorus the chorus the band added a second rhythm guitar arrangement.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo was a twin lead guitar solo.  The backing vocals on this track were amazing!  After the third chorus there was a second lead guitar solo.  This second solo ran through the rest of the song and coda.
10.) "Turnin’ Me Under" - This track opens with a single rhythm guitar riff.  After the riff is a played the bass line along with the hi-hat kicks-in.  After the first musical verse a second rhythm guitar kick-in. It is playing the same rhythm as the first.  The first lyric line had a small echo attached to it  There was a rhythm guitar change connecting the first lyrical verse with the second.  There as a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  Scattered throughout the sings was several tom-tom fills.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  The coda of this sng had some of the best drum work I have heard Bobby play!!!            
11.) "Miracle Man" featuring Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple) on bass, acoustic guitar and vocals.  This song as the legendary Glenn Hughes on it. Do I really need to say more.   



    I have reviewed every CD The Lizards have recorded and yes sometimes it is a longtime before they leave the shadows underneath the rocks and hit the studio to record.  However the outcome is always worth the wait.  That you can take to the bank!  This time around the seventies super group has enlisted some pretty big seventies musicians to help them record the songs.  Everyone from Frank Marino to Glenn Hughes.  Though as individuals the guys have been around since I was a kid as a group they are just hitting their stride.  This release is a good as the others I have reviewed.  If you are into decent classic rock then this is an absolute must have!