Been waiting a long time for this to be re-issued. This is the short lived 'other' band of the Cleaners From Venus main man Martin Newell but there's not all that much difference in the sound. It still has that perfect '80s update of classic '60s pop and the sort of melodies that other bands would kill for. Once again it was ignored by the public at large possibly to do with Newell's insistence on touring only by bicycle.
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 September 2016
We all know about the Cleaners From Venus don’t we. Don’t we?
Well we should because they produced some of the very best guitar pop of the 1980s most of which has been re-issued on Captured Tracks in recent years so you have no excuses whatsoever.
The Brotherhood of Lizards were a short lived project headed by lead Cleaner Martin Newell circa 1989 with a pal Nelson who later went on to be in New Model Army. They looked quite the pair….especially when they toured the UK on bicycle.
The music here will be familiar to anyone who likes the Cleaners or Martin Newell’s subsequent solo records. Extremely good songwriting that brings to mind past greats such as the Beatles, XTC and early Pink Floyd with lashings and lashings of jangling guitar. It’s perhaps a little more polished and less lo-fi than the Cleaners but there’s no doubting the quality of these songs. Within the first three tracks you get enough quality jangle pop to keep you going for a decade. Both ‘It Could Have Been Cheryl’ and ‘The World Strikes One’ turned up as demos on the very last part of the Cleaners box set but here they are fleshed out wonderfully in that plangent style that recalls all the great bands from the past but always sounds unique and on the edge of falling apart.
Newell is a genius. There I’ve said it. From the marvellously lyrical descriptions on ’The World Strikes One’ “The misty chimneys are smoking in the rain….and kids dragged slowly by the gravity of school’" to the marvellous atmospheric rock of ‘Dear Anya’ with its spiralling Echo and the Bunnymen style guitar rock that just sends you back to some rain lashed autumnal day in the bleak mid ‘80s. ‘Lizardland’ is full of brilliant inventive music. You also get a bonus LP of their self titled cassette which contains one of Newell’s very best songs in ‘April Moon'.
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