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The return of the Lillingtons


The Lillingtons – The Too Late Show 

The Lillingtons are one of the most underrated pop punk bands of the 90s.  While the Lookout! Records  trifecta of Screeching Weasel, The Queers, and the Mr. T Experience got the most attention, the Lillingtons quietly released some phenomenal material.  I purchased their first 7″ called “I Lost My Marbles” at Milwaukee’s Earwaves record store (which has been closed for almost 10 years now) because it was produced by Joe Queer.  I was completely blown away by the catchiness of the music and the unique sound of Kody’s voice, which Joe Queer brilliantly highlighted by making it more prominent than the guitars, bass and drums.  They went on to release Shit Out Of Luck, their first LP, which built upon the foundation of their 7″.  The CD was pop punk at its finest.  Following that was what I consider the pinnacle of the band’s music, the 12″ split LP which might feature my favorite pop punk song of all time “Nowhere Fast.”  

As their popularity spead they  hooked up with Ben Weasel, who signed them to his Panic Button Label.  After they signed to Panic Button there was a definite change in their sound, the guitars became more prominent and Kody’s distinctive voice was no longer the centerpiece of the band.  The lyrics became more focused on monsters and aliens and the sound more polished.  While the albums from that era Television City Dream and The Backchannel Broadcast, were excellent, nothing could touch the split with Nothing Cool.   After the Backchannel Broadcast the band broke up.  This was also around the time that The Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel and the Queers either broke up or ceased recording new material.   This signaled the unofficial end of the hayday of true pop punk music in my opinion.

Last year Lillingtons fans were ecstatic over the release of Teenage Bottlerocket’s debut album “Total,” which featured Kody on vocals on about 1/2 the songs.  The CD was very good and kind of has a Riverdales/Methadones vibe…it was a bit more Ramonesy than the Lillingtons and I love the alternating vocalists.   Then it was recently revealed that the Lillingtons were reunited and releasing a new CD.  That CD is called “The Too Late Show” and I got it via Interpunk 2 days ago. 

I have listened to it 3 times already and I can say it sounds as if it would fit snugly between Television City Dream and The Backchannel Broadcast.  It is a good pop punk album from start to finish though there are some definite standouts on the CD.  “All I Hear Is Static” is an instant classic and it kind of reminds me of “99” by Screeching Weasel, the other songs that I loved right away is “Mars vs Hollywood” and “Please Stay Tuned”    I think as time goes on the CD will continue to grow on me. 

Though my tastes have skewed more towards indie rock over the last 5 years or so, I still consider pop punk to be my favorite genre.  This CD takes me back to the days of packing up 5 or 6 of us in a car and making the trek to Green Bay, WI to the Concert Cafe (what ever happened to Time Bomb Tom?) to see our favorite bands like the Lillingtons, The Queers, Boris The Sprinkler, The Groovie Ghoulies, the New Bomb Turks, Nothing Cool, and countless other great underrated punk bands. 

Welcome back Lillingtons!


October 13, 2006 - Posted by | Album Reviews

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