Music Reviews
The Lilacs

The Lilacs

Endure

Pravda

The music press loves to chase (or create) a good story. So when Nirvana hit big, everyone ran to chase the Seattle sound. The same happened with Athens, Georgia or Manchester, England, and Chicago. The Chicago scene was hyped around adventurous guitar bands, most often labeled as “power pop.” Eleventh Dream Day, Veruca Salt, Material Issue, and Urge Overkill had at least a moment on the national stage. The Lilacs were a part of that late ’80s – early ’90s scene. It’s been more than a quarter century since the Lilacs released new music, but now they’re back.

Endure is an apt name for a band that been on that mythical long strange trip for so long. In the liner notes, the Lilacs call it an “oft-interrupted, questionably successful venture.” Endure was produced by Richard Lloyd (Television, Matthew Sweet), an enduring presence on the underground music scene himself. Lloyd knows better than to try to make the sound too sweet. He knows to leave the rasp in the voice and the rawness in those guitars. It’s not auto-tuned perfection, because it’s the rough edges you get caught on, that pull you into the songs where you can enjoy the band’s unique perspective.

What I like most about the Lilac’s music is the friction between how the songs sound and what they’re actually saying. If I didn’t speak English, I would only pick up on the macho swagger in the delivery. Monica has an aggressive snarl confrontational delivery. Then the words get to you. “Monica” opens with “Hey, little person behind the book, Hey I’m talking to you!” So far, that could be a guy posturing, trying to impress. Then a shift takes place and we hear, “If I take you out, I’ll be a gentleman, I’ll keep my hands to myself, I don’t want to stay here alone.”

That juxtaposition of macho and woke appears again on “I Saw Her First.” At first it sounds like a variation on the theme of don’t-take-my-girl. “I’m not going to smile while you steal my girl.” The chorus sets us um p for a tear down of his rival. The verses go all “Jolene” on us. Our rock dude calls out the interloper saying, “You got tight pants, You’re skinnier than me, You’ve got great hair I see why she’s intrigued.” Then later, he’s talking to his romantic rival who reveals he loves the band. It’s hard to hate this guy, but… don’t take my girl just because you can!

The Lilacs didn’t make a big splash on their first go round. They kn-ow they’re not going to be competing with BTS. That’s all right. Having fun making music is a good thing.


Recently on Ink 19...

Better Than This

Better Than This

Event Reviews

Four local bands lit up Melbourne, Florida at the Pineapples Moon Room. The lineup, presented by Red Eye Booking, included London on Fire, The Speed Spirits, and Dunies, all from in Melbourne, and special guest, Orlando band Better Than This.

The Captain & Tennille

The Captain & Tennille

Garage Sale Vinyl

This week, Christopher Long pulls up at a neighborhood garage sale and picks up his fourth vinyl copy of Song of Joy, the 1976 platinum slab from the Captain & Tennille.

Eight Deadly Shots

Eight Deadly Shots

Screen Reviews

Mikko Niskanen’s recently restored 1972 mini-series Eight Deadly Shots is a complex look at the real-life murders of four police officers in the farming community of Sääksmäki, Finland, in March 1969. Lily and Generoso review the powerful fictionalized adaptation of this tragic incident.

Smoking Causes Coughing

Smoking Causes Coughing

Screen Reviews

Lily and Generoso review Smoking Causes Coughing, the newest creation from surrealist comic genius Quentin Dupieux (Rubber, Mandibles) that follows the adventures and storytelling endeavors of the kaiju-fighting Tobacco Force!

Drumming with Dead Can Dance

Drumming with Dead Can Dance

Print Reviews

Ink 19’s Roi J. Tamkin reviews Drumming With Dead Can Dance and Parallel Adventures, Peter Ulrich’s memoir of an artistic life fueled by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard’s remarkable friendship.

%d bloggers like this: