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Shoegazer





Lovelorn wants to know "What's Yr Damage"?

As clearly indicated by its title, What’s Yr Damage (6131 Records)the debut LP by Philly-purveyors-of-psychotronic-rock Lovelorn clearly pays tribute to two iconic ‘80s bands—the first of which being Big Fun whose one-and-only Stateside hit came in 1988 with “Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do It),” the bombastic-dance-pop-with-a-social-message classic featured in the homicidal-high-school-rom-com Heathers (the second greatest movie ever made!) with its iconic catch phrase “What’s your damage?”; and the second of which being Black Flag, the iconic California hardcore-sters whose debut LP Damaged (1981) served as a paganistic paean to teenage alienation and craving (“Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie!”) with squalls of squalid guitar courtesy of Greg Ginnwhich isn't to dismiss the other influences at play here (industrial, shoegaze, dream pop, trip hop, who knows what else!) and despite being released two months ago it still sounds pretty darn good.

Across the album’s ten tracks the duo of Anna and Patrick place these disparate sonic fragments into close proximity like tectonic plates colliding and coalescing and forming into massive land masses and, I mean, just take a listen to the album’s second track “Sickness Reward,” which kicks off with an ambient Cabaret Voltaire-y soundscape (R.I.P. Richard H. Kirk) that's soon overlaid with a massive industrial-disco beat and heavy synth, and then stripped down to a minimal electro-pop groove when the vocals first enter, and then built back up again but with a growing sense of sonic disorder seeping in around the edges (the manic guitar, the power-drill synth) and be sure to check out the music video too (dir. Daniel Fried) which opens with a flipped Cannon Films logothe production studio that put out the greatest piece of cinema ever Ninja III: The Domination (don’t worry, it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the first two) and I’m hoping the eventual sequel to this video sees the field-and-track athletes inexplicably attacked by a crazed ninja but I digress. 

Anyway, this is a record that really creates its own lane. And likewise for the lyrical content which addresses such serious topics as eating disorders, mental illness, and creating one's own lane (shades of Big Fun again and yes I know I know) but which also captures pure desire in the starkest of terms (“Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie”) or as Lovelorn themselves put on it on "Tiger," the final track of What’s Yr Damage: “I justify what I want / I already waited too long.” (Jason Lee)





VIDEO: ‘Anvil’ | Lilly

photo credit: Athena Merry

 

Liily are four Los Angeles musicians—Dylan Nash, Sam De La Torre, Charlie Anastasis & Maxx Morando—who, up until now, were mostly known for their manic and cacophonous live shows. Those performances, alongside a couple of early singles packaged together into an EP entitled I Can Fool Anybody In This Town, drove the band to some surprising early successes. Now, Lilly have returned from the sonic depths with a new track, “Anvil,” taken from their eagerly-awaited debut long-player TV or Not TV and an accompanying music video. And it must be said that the shoegazey vibe they’re sending out with this latest work is both hard-hitting and compelling. 

 

The track begins with sedate drums and slightly overdriven but gently-strummed electrics guitars, woozy with vibrato, with bass and vocals gradually entering (“I’ve made my death bed a lifetime too short / I like my hands on the steering wheel, already on course”). When the band unleashes the full shoegaze onslaught of massively distorted guitars, searing drums and ride cymbals, and mountainous bass, it’s a real punch to the face, even if you’re only listening through earbuds. The minimal chord changes during the chorus are tasteful and an impressive example of the “less is more” school of songwriting. 

 

The video for “Anvil” (directed by De La Torre), meanwhile, chooses to contrast the sonic heft of the track with an odd choice of imagery: various snails are filmed interacting with each other in a doll house that seamlessly melds into a sort of wooded wonderland, complete with color-changing lights, offering an incongruous picture of the shelled gastropods interacting with common domestic amenities, like chairs, sofas, and desks. it’s a surreal, vivid collection of scenes that gain no small amount of added emotional weight form the muscle of the music. 

 

Lilly has just begun a month-long tour that will end with them playing The Troubadour on Friday October 29th. Gabe Hernandez

 

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Shoegazer

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19:30
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Activity
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Schubas
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Shoegazer

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19:00
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Ortlieb’s
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Shoegazer

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FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
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Red Room at Cafe 939
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