Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poor Lily: Poor Lily

     Here then, my music dissectors, is a punk album of note. Poor Lily are a trio from the Bronx that whack out energetic screams of Dead Kennedys-esque satire, laden with jagged personality that feels straight up and honest. Bringing punk back to it's crazed, rebellious basics, the band is made up of Max Capshaw on guitar, despite being best know for his drum work, Dom Baiocco and Adam Wisnieski. Twenty-three minutes and thirteen tracks long, this album is available for free from the group's website.
     First off, the amount of tracks and the length of the album means that most songs don't break the two minute mark. Rather than hindering the quality of the record though, this only lends itself to hit the listener with punch after punch of noisy, aggressive rock that varies enough while also retaining an enjoyable unity. The vocals remind me of teenage punk bands, but the age of two of the band members mean they bring distinctively older sounds to the table, which adds some very likable 80's maturity to the record. Structure wise, as well, many songs on this could be considered strange, with only a few conforming to people's usual, verse-chorus style make-up. Looking deeper than the top layer of mindless guitar riffs and screaming vocals though, however good they are, reveals thoughtful, interesting production that make this album, for me. And all for free! 
      The recording quality on some songs is also a little rough, but the band uses this distortion to their benefit, playing it off as nothing, with the thrashing guitar covering it up on more than one occasion. '800 Jerks' executes such a method brilliantly, with the screaming vocals building to a fantastic climax at the end. 'In Gravitas Veritas' is one of my personal favourites from this album, with cleaner drums and melody at the start backing a brilliant narration. Another climax brought to my attention a pattern within the sound on repeated listen. As is the nature of the style of music, the songs build and build throughout the song, accumulating in a breathless and energetic finish. Not a bad thing, and indeed one that is done well, I might have preferred a little more imagination to match that of the lyricism, production and instrumentation. Still, a complaint I only noticed on repeated listen, and one that probably won't occur to most people!
     'Hey Fucko' has a great guitar solo half way through and towards the end, with 'Head of Flames' and 'He Tried to Lam' matching the high standard laced throughout the tracks. The satirical lyrics mentioned before are particularly prevalent on track nine, 'Regular Guy', with the vocalist singing like a grumpy old man who seems to like doing things himself. As an a retaliation to people's angry glares, the band pound out the words "I'm not a monster, I'm a regular guy!" Absolutely outstanding lyricism matched with outstandingly furious guitar riffs and a cock-sure drummer, this makes for great listening.
     The album ends with 'Right on You', a song by which the singer, well sings more, rather than screams, with once again, a gorgeous finishing solo from the trio. The ultimate track opens with a reverb heavy drone that lies just beneath the surface throughout the song, but with it being one of the shorter tracks, I feel down heartened by such a relatively weak finisher to the record. Left wanting more though, I suppose that's a good attribute for the album to be associated with! Lovers of straight forward punk aggression should love this, and it's available to download for free. Highly recommended, check this out.