EvilSponge is big fans of the band Superchunk. We spent a long time in 2013 reviewing all of their releases in preparation for a new album and tour. That was a lot of fun, but now promo companies send us any record that they think sounds like Superchunk.
That can be a pretty bad thing, really. But i give them each a listen before deleting them, which i usually end up doing. Lilac Daze are an exception. This band from Frederick, MD actually kind of sounds like Superchunk. A bit.
They are a three piece power punk trio consisting of Evan Braswell, Patti Kotrady, and Matt Henry. To be honest, it is unclear who does what. Ms. Kotrady obviously sings at some point, since there is only one female voice. But what instrument does anyone play? Who is the male singer, or do Braswell and Henry split the duties? Why is it so hard for bands to list these things on one of their websites?
Moving on, Sedated is six songs in under fifteen minutes. This is the old school punk stuff -- short fast songs that tear by you in a flurry of bouncy rhythms and fast guitars.
They open the record with an ode to their home town, Frederick Rock City. The male voice is low in the mix under whirring guitar and cymbal-heavy drums. Rock on Frederick!
Fountain and Medicine is very Weezer-y with crunchy guitar riffs and one of the males harmonizing with Kotrady.
The drummer obviously had a lot of espresso before they recorded Life Scout. This song is fast, close to old hardcore punk, with very trebly guitar. And nicely done too.
On Kathleen the guitarist seems to channel Archers of Loaf. The voice is buried a little under the guitar roar, and goddammit, can we please get the drummer to lay off the crashing cymbals for a little bit! Porcelain God is a very similar song, and i think all this cymbal smashing is giving me a headache.
But then they wrap up the EP with Knives, an opus at over two minutes long. This is a really good indie rock song that would have been right at home in my stereo in the late 1990s. Kotrady's voice is buried under the guitars and a steady cymbal crash (again!) drum beat. On the choruses the guitar chimes in layers and a male voice harmonies "And i hate you!" over and over. This is the best song here, where it all comes together with their catchiest riff, and this is from a band that is not short of catchy riffs. This is a damned fine tune.
Overall, not bad. Itís a short release, but nothing gets old. Oh sure, the drummer relies a bit too much on the crash cymbal, but it's not that bad. I mean, if they made six minute tunes it might get old, but most songs are under two minutes, so it just seems a little quirky. Knives is a damned fine pop tune though, and i hope to hear more like it from this band.