Lacertilia – Calling the Quarter (Proper Tidy Records)

A bona fide live favourite for a number of years here in South Wales, Lacertilia have long been darlings of the scene around here and for very good reason. They play that variety of spaced out rock that you can dance and mosh too in equal measure while front man Matthew Fry has an entrancing presence as he conducts the audience into a frenzy. Seeing them live is an experience not soon forgotten. This is exactly the kind of vibe they captured on debut album We’re Already Inside Your Mind and which they’ve turned up to eleven on new album Calling The Quarter.

Channelling his best Robert Plant, Fry’s vocals, whilst they were always good, have somehow transcended to yet another level on opener Cloaks and Daggers as he drapes those silky tones over big drums and an even bigger groove. A gorgeous stoner rock riff ala Fu Manchu greets us on Labyrinth while the band strip things back for the bluesy intro to Furthur, which morphs into the bands familiar groove, but it’s not long before the whole thing breaks down into chaotic proto punk.

Very much the calm before the storm Procession of Souls is a mystical minutes worth of chants and percussion that leads us into the Stooges-esque At The Edge of Utopia showing that the band can mix it with the punks when called upon. If further evidence were needed then check out Inside The Circle, a track that recalls punks finest Black Flag. A very apt name for the bare bones acoustic guitar/percussion track that is Feral as it evokes images of the mountains, forests, outdoors, fires and possibly people dancing naked. Where were we? Right last track. So Mote It Be kicks builds on a lazy laid back Jimmy Page style riff that rides the album out with style.

Less and less bands are doing full albums these days, but if all your material is this killer then why wouldn’t you. That’s exactly what the Lacertilia boys have produced. Calling The Quarter is an album stuffed full of riffs and hooks to get loaded and dance around your local ancient ruin to. Sonic mastery at its absolute finest… Chris Andrews

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