Album Review – Scrap by The Age of Colored Lizards (2022) (Sotron Records)
Originally the solo project of Oslo’s, Christian Dam (vocals and guitar), this act has generally extended to a threesome, with Dam being periodically joined over the course of this album (recorded between 2016 and 2022) by Anders Bøe, Fredrik Ness Sevendal and Kristian Flåten on bass and Cato Holmen and Håvard Berstad (Drums).
The triple attributes of constant of noise, fuzz and overall beauty, are the core for each track in this, their third and arguably most accomplished album yet, as three inter-linked nuances vie for attention, without ever really showing any signs of conflict.
At Scrap‘s most dynamic and gregarious, the Galaxie 500 inspired Nothing to Say and It’s All Gone, as well as the C86 playfulness and drive of I’ll Be Waiting, offer noise pop that is as vibrant as anything we are currently hearing. Think of the recent sound of theMiseryslims / Jetstream Pony and the energy of The Photocopies, add the ability to simmer multiple guitar melodies through the mayhem and you are just about in the right ball park, from the perspective of a modern comparison.
However, the album truly excels when the noise-pop / jangle-gaze inflections are reduced to subsidary status and merely act as an augmentation to a new sense of melodic. Here Solitary You and Fading take on a genuine sense of 80s guitar pop precious, moulded around genuine musicianship, rather than the benefits of exemplary production techniques. Despite the strong competition heard in the rest of the album, these are the moments when The Age of the Colored Lizards truly excel.
Available as a digital release only (grab a copy here) and then just dive straight into their back catalogue. You will not be disappointed.