If an album title like ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind’ isn’t enough to get the average stoner metal fan cracking open the extra large Rizla papers – then surely you’re listening to the wrong music altogether. Because this album is as superbly trippy as the genre comes while lashing in generous helpings of super-heavy rock, powerful vocals and something between 70s psychedelia and 70s heavy metal. At this point I could throw in the names of a number of bands that fall under that description and whose fans would do well to check out these guys. But, really, there is only one name that really fits the bill – because Lacertilia is like a psyched-out, old-school Monster Magnet and lead singer Matt Fry has a voice that at times does a good job of rivalling the groovy master himself Dave Windorf.
Okay, perhaps the essence of that that silky drawl is missing but then Lacertilia are from South Wales, not New Jersey, but Fry’s voice is still impressive all the same. Yes, South Wales – not New South Wales or Cardiff, Alabama – just Wales, the south bit. That said, you may or may not be disappointed to hear, that there’s very little Wales in the music. Desert rock, yes, 70s space rock and even blues drifting out of the speakers in the more floating moments on tracks like The Wired And The Weird. But if you’ve heard anything by Monster Magnet up to and including Powertrip then you’re in for a treat. In fact, Lacertilia could even be said to have rival skills in the throwback stakes. Because, easy signposting aside, nothing here really feels like Lacertilia is worshiping at anyone else’s alter – just attempting to unlock corners of your mind by tuning in and rocking out.
The aforementioned track, the Wired And The Weird is a self-contained treat that unleashes itself in a volley of influences – all the way to the final screaming Robert Plant-style finale. Two or three tracks in and ‘…. Inside Your Mind’ feels like it has well and truly hit the ground running as an album to remember. Lacertilia is on the heavy rock edge of the stoner metal spectrum – but with the emphasis on the word ‘heavy’. Drums beat like the pulsing of your brain just before the white-out sweats kick in. Bass-laden breakdowns descend out of control and before the powertripping chorus melodies sweep in to carry tracks like Never See The Sun into their ultimate conclusion.
I like the fact that I can also hear some very British influences shining through – shades of Kasabian, Primal Scream and even The Stone Roses. Perhaps that’s just that late 60s psychedelic fringe that so much of this type of music has. Whatever their subtle or less subtle homages, what you’ll find herein drives you along in waves of blissful, head banging crescendo or else spiralling down the proverbial rabbit hole during those timeless spaced-out interludes that you can take for granted with Lacertilia. No wonder they have a thing for festivals (they’ve already played at Hellfest this year but would no doubt fit right in at Cardiff’s Red Sun heavy metal festival where they played last month and where eclecticism rules). They’ve also played with the likes of Karma To Burn and Elder and would no doubt have compliment both those band’s perfectly too. As well as Wyndorf standards, ‘… Inside Your Mind’ delves into Doors territory with Ride With Us which latterly descends into a throbbing, mesmerising desert rock pulse and leads nicely into the bluesy jam Earth.
But that’s not where the band draws its drug-infused boundaries. The final tracks see Lacertilia dig deeper into its love of the psychedelic with instrumentals aplenty before losing itself completely in Round and Round and ‘Inside Your Mind Part 2’. It’s clear these guys are enjoying what they so – it billows out of the speakers even though at times things feel a little unfocused. Perhaps what ‘… Inside Your Mind’ lacks versus most of Monster Magnet’s output is those killer hooks that are with you from the first seconds you hear them and for decades later. Maybe that’s called subtlety. But there are still some huge riffs to witness and there’s really very little in the way of filler. In fact, it’s enjoyable throughout and if stoner rock with a heavy metal heart is what drives your stereo then Lacertilia is a band you really should check out.
(7.5/10 Reverend Darkstanley)