The last time we wrote about Norwegian garage rock trio The Age of Colored Lizards was back in November, when we were directed to the band’s debut album, Daydreamer, which we absolutely loved. Now, the band is back with a new song, its first since that album’s release. “I’ll Be Waiting” is a reminder of the charm that pervades Daydreamer, an optimizing of all the elements that made the album so striking to us in the first place.
Almost immediately, “I’ll Be Waiting” reintroduces the nasal, bright singing that imparts so much of The Age of Colored Lizards’ unflappable cheer. Forcefully but limply strummed, overdriven but at most lightly distorted guitar chords—these are full chords, not power chords—guide the song’s direction, as is the band’s standard fare. Drums and bass are, as ever, low in the mix, yielding to the primal joy of the band’s remarkable vocal style and inescapable guitar work.
Perhaps the most exciting thing at which The Age of Colored Lizards consistently excels, though, is that its lyrics are easily discernible despite the generally noisy, haphazard production that makes its songs so intensely delightful. “Don’t remember what I did last night/It’s been a while since you said goodbye/I miss you/Do you miss me too?” go the song’s first four lines, which are perfectly intelligible atop the exhilarating, chaotic blur of sound below them. In these first lyrics, it’s apparent that the band hasn’t lost its innate ability to transform heartbreak into guitar-guided glee.
Across “I’ll Be Waiting,” The Age of Colored Lizards touches up on the tricks of its established trade without doing much that’s new for them. Although listeners and critics alike often demand that bands change their sound and expand their boundaries as frequently as they can, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?