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Austin Lounge Lizards

Employee of the Month – 1998 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Austin Lounge Lizards

Just when you say to yourself that you never want to hear another stupid Texas song, along come the Austin Lounge Lizards, and soon you're singing along with lines like "Our accents are the drawliest, our howdies are the y'alliest/ Our Lone Star flag's the waviest, our fried steak's the cream graviest" (from "Stupid Texas Song").

Although they have a bluegrass feel, the Lizards have a rapmeister's sense of rhyme (who else could pair "Dismal hollers" with "abysmal dollars," on "Rocky Byways") They even update the Jan and Dean/Beach Boys sub-genre of car songs ("Hey, Little Minivan"). And although this is less overtly political than previous releases, they still have a strong, albeit twisted, social conscience. They care deeply about the plight of the homeless (the hilariously heartwarming "Love in a Refrigerator Box")

And they do not neglect spirituality. In "The Other Shore" the stirring a cappella that closes out the album, the Lizards reassure us that we'll someday be reunited with the stuff we've misplaced in this vale of tears ("On the other shore/ we'll have piles and piles of jeans we can't fit into anymore/...We'll find National Geographics from 1974.") The Austin Lounge Lizards are a national treasure.