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King Lizard: A Nightmare Livin' The Dream

Cock-rocking quartet recreate Sunset Strip sleaze in London.

The first thing you need to know about King Lizard is that their singer calls himself Flash Roxx Sawyer.

Massive respect. Indeed, the goofy names, salacious song titles and lurid packaging of the Lizard’s second album point to these London sleaze-glam rockers being low-rent British cousins of hair-metal retro-parody merchants Steel Panther. Alas, not that deep into lascivious Gun N’ Motley gutter-grime anthems like Come Get Some or Kneel To The King, it becomes obvious that Sawyer and his fellow longhairs are aiming for pure Sunset Strip homage with no glimmer of affectionate mockery or redeeming wit. Devoid of protective irony, A Nightmare Livin’ The Dream stands or falls by its sheer cock-rocking power and hedonistic swagger alone.

On these terms, it offers bucketloads of spunk-sodden innuendo and scorching guitar solos, but ultimately proves too generic and conservative to convincingly reinvent the sleaze-metal format. That said, Just To Hear You Say It is an agreeably sloppy excursion into romantic power balladry, while Waterloo Ratz must be the best heads-down party-punk riff-slammer ever written about phoning your mum and dad for a lift after missing the last tube home.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.