Impressive name, impressive album? Well, the debut album from the Stourbridge quartet Tyrannosaurus Nebulous certainly has teeth. Twelve tracks of melodic hard rock should appeal to those who like their music delivered with catchy, anthemic choruses. You can see why the likes of Planet Rock picked up the single TLK and gave it an eight-week run on their playlist.
Tyrannosaurus Nebulous – Tyrant Lizard King (Echoed Past Records)
Release Date: 25 March 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
The production courtesy of Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton is crisp and polished but allows the band to retain enough grit in their music to give it a bit of oomph. The songs are well performed, with a big sound, and the vocals sit firmly with the likes of Black Stone Cherry, King Creature and Those Damn Crows.
“I hear a ‘but’ coming,” I hear you say. And yes, you’d be right. For although this is a fabulously pleasing album, one that could easily accompany you for a road trip across the country on a sunny day, there is a generic feel which makes it incredibly hard to separate the album from hundreds of others which are part of the New Wave of Classic Rock which appears to currently have no brake as it continues the momentum of the past few years.
That’s not a problem, as thousands of bands fit into every genre of music. Just check out the volume of Death Metal bands currently grunting and growling their way around. Therefore, the challenge is how to get above the masses and give that music that difference that pushes through the crowded surface and to the peak.
I can’t fault most of Tyrant Lizard King. The swagger of the opening three songs, Get Some, Underdog and the AC/DC stomp of Lead Foot, demand good times. Toe-tapping, headbanging, it’s heavy on the riffs and the hook, catchier than Covid in a care home, and lingers long in the memory.
There’s a delightful edge of the blues about Hate You, which slows the pace, moving toward the traditional ballad that we all knew was coming. Deal With My Evil is drawn from the band’s debut EP and stands apart as a well-balanced composition with some lovely acoustic guitar leading into a banging track that screams the essence of Thin Lizzy. Auto Pilot is a less convincing song, although the harmonies compensate for the strained lead vocal.
Including a song from the EP bulks out the album, but it may also be a bit of padding that isn’t needed. And it may be the extra length that is one of my criticisms here, for there isn’t quite enough on the album to hold the attention for the full twelve tracks.
By the time we get to the three-part 20 minute TLK I, II & III, I found my attention wandering. But to counter that, the strength here is that you can quite easily dip back into the record without too much trouble.
Overall, this is a solid debut album that is immaculately delivered. The cover artwork certainly catches the eye. You won’t be disappointed if you had this on in the car.
And despite my minor criticisms, it’s an album that should make Tyrannosaurus Nebulous many friends in 2022.
1. Get Some
3. Lead Foot
4. Hate You
5. Deal with my Evil
6. Raw Deal
7. Auto Pilot
9. TLK – I
10. TLK – II
11. TLK – III
12. Never Gonna Be (Bonus)