DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY

ALTER ECHO

SONY MUSIC JAPAN 20th March

My eyes lit up as the envelope in my postbox revealed its contents. Four years after their last album – the superb Forward In Reverse – we finally have the fourth studio album from Dizzy Mizz Lizzy. All over jobs were put on hold immediately and I popped the disc into my stereo, cranking the volume up to deafening hoping – but confidently knowing – that this would not disappoint me and I’m glad to say right at the start, it hasn’t and has in fact, exceeded my hopes and expectations.

 

The opening track is an agonizingly slow but beautifully recorded build that leads into the second track and then the album thumps in like a herd of elephants marching through your front room. The drums pound, the bass resonates and vibrates and the guitar has one of those addictive riffs so characteristic of this band. Needless to say, the vocal line is exquisitely delivered; melodic with expression and the whole track is underscored by a floating keyboard filling out the powerhouse trio sound. It is signature DML and with Tim Christensen once again producing we are in familiar and enjoyable territory.

 

For bands to survive, they have to move on in some way and DML have certainly progressed with their writing and arrangements on this album and I use that term in both senses of the word used in Rock. Yes folks, dare I say it, this is Prog Rock albeit blended with modern Metal and they have achieved something rather special, most noticeably in the five part suite titled Amelia which runs for 23 minutes or, for us older Rockers, in analogue terms, Side 2. The reference to analogue records is used here because in the notes accompanying the promo copy, it says the album was created on the premise of an LP. Suddenly I like it even more and as an aside, Tim has pulled a neat little trick of opening side 1 with the chords ending side 2 making it a continuous loop – classy.

 

Those of us that witnessed them at Loud Park in 2016 will never forget the sheer power that this trio produced onstage. Indeed, so overwhelming was their performance that they were immediately invited back for the following year, a feat which no other band has ever achieved in the history of Loud Park and those Japanese fans who saw either of those shows have four additional reasons to be happy with this. The first is that it is released here before anywhere else in the world; the second is that there is a bonus track; thirdly because of the upcoming show (see below) where no doubt a large selection will be performed and lastly because it is mastered in BS2CD which gives the sound extra clarity.

 

Now, having written that, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and listen to this again.

 

Track List

The Ricochet

In The Blood

Boy Doom

The Middle

California Rain

Amelia – Pt 1: Nothing They Do They Do For You

Amelia – Pt 2: The Path Of Least Existence
Amelia – Pt 3: Lights Out

Amelia – Pt 4: All Saints Are Sinners

Amelia – Pt 5: Alter Echo

Bonus Track for Japan

Madness

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

SOUNDTRACKI

SONY MUSIC JAPAN Out now

Films based around a familiar set of songs are always enjoyable to watch. American Graffiti is a classic example of this as is That’ll Be The Day and pretty much any music biopic. The recent Blinded By The Light is also an enjoyable film to watch and the songs within the context of the film work perfectly well but as a soundtrack CD, I find it a bit lacking which is not the fault of the music but the lack of visual images to go with it.

 

Set in Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 Britain – which believe me was very depressing – the film opens with The Pet Shop Boys and A-Ha setting the scene of boredom and hopelessness before Bruce Springsteen’s music becomes the savior of a Pakistani immigrant living in Luton. It’s actually based on a true story and many immigrants at that time struggled to find their own identity in a country that really didn’t want them, in particular, the younger generation who conflicted with their families, forcing to choose between their traditions and new-found liberties. As the film rolls on, we see the protagonist splitting his life between several conflicting situations, all to an endearing eighties soundtrack with bits of his own culture’s music thrown in but this mixture is what upsets the flow of the CD. Interspersed with pieces of dialogue, there is no theme we can really relate to as it doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be a Springsteen compilation, an original soundtrack or a representation of music from the eighties. All of the music was there in this person’s life but it’s impossible to relate to aurally if you didn’t experience it for yourself because whereas American Graffiti and That’ll Be The Day were the soundtracks of many people’s youth, this compilation comes across – and is - a soundtrack of just one person’s life, not an entire generation which disconnects it from the listener.

 

That said, there is of course some terrific music on here and three previously unreleased Springsteen tracks to make it worthwhile listening to. The film has 41 songs, 24 of which have been selected for this release, the bulk of the material being from The Boss but as mentioned above, it is an eclectic mixture of Springsteen, 80’s Synth-Pop, traditional Pakistani music and spoken word.

 

Track List

1. Ode To Javed/Javed’s Poem (Dialogue)

2. It’s A Sin (Pet Shop Boys)

3. The Sun Always Shines On TV (A-Ha)

4. The Boss Of Us All (Dialogue)

5. Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen)

6. You Should Be Listening To Our Music (Dialogue)

7. I Never Knew Music Could Be Like This (Dialogue)

8. The River* (Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band)

9. Number One Paki Film (Dialogue)

10. Badlands (Bruce Springsteen)

11. Cover Me (Bruce Springsteen)

12. Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen)

13. Get Out Of My Way Fascist Pigs (Amer Chanda-Patel)

14. Do It For Me (Dialogue)

15. Prove It All Night (Bruce Springsteen)

16. Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen)

17. You, Me…And Bruce (Dialogue)

18. Because The Night (Patti Smith)

19. Maar Chadapa (Heera)

20. The Promised Land* (Bruce Springsteen)

21. Blinded By The Light (Bruce Springsteen)

22. Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen)

23. I Will Stand By You* (Bruce Springsteen)

24. For You My Love A. R. Rahman

 

*Previously unreleased recording.