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The Lillingtons Stream New LP In Full

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella SapienteLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have premiered a full stream of their new album Stella Sapiente, which is set to drop on October 13, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords. The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

Listen to the album here, and be sure to check out our full review.

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella Sapiente

The Lillingtons

Stella Sapiente

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

It was surprising when Wyoming pop-punk legends The Lillingtons emerged from hiatus and gave us their first new EP in a decade, Project 313.  It was even more surprising when they announced barely a month later that they would be following the EP with a brand new full length.  But it was outright shocking that after years of pestering the band, Fat Mike finally convinced the band to sign with Fat Wreck Chords for their first new full length in a decade.  But the cherry on top was that the new record, Stella Sapiente, would be a shadowy concept album of epic proportions.  

Now The Lillingtons are far from strangers to concept albums, but their most notable work has primarily channelled their traditionalist pop-punk foundation (think heavy Ramones influence) into themes of retro science fiction (Death By Television, heralded by Fat Mike as one of the best pop punk albums of all time), espionage (Backchannel Broadcast), and 2:00am TV watching sessions dominated by black and white serialized re-runs (The Too Late Show).  Stella Sapiente completely reinvents the musical style typically associated with the pop-punk band, instead opting for a dark, brooding atmosphere in line with the press release’s claim that the album is “centered around secret societies, astrology, and the occult.”  A fitting reality considering that the album was recorded in total secrecy.

Kody Templeman’s unmistakable vocalizations as well as the tendency to revert to simplistic chord structures remain the marked strand of continuity binding the project together – but the rest is new territory.  This becomes immediately apparent for during opener “Golden Dawn / Knights Templar,” which includes a full minute of swelling instrumental intensification that places distortion, drenched and idling in reverb, at the fore.  These are not your typical three chord pop-punk ditties, but rather something you’d expect to find amidst the moodiest tracks from horror-punk projects like The Rosedales, Nim Vind, or Blitzkid.  “We were chosen by God’s own hand, sent on a mission to the holy land, wanted to kill everything that got in our way,” sings Templeman as they launch into semi-historical lore of ancient societies that took guarded secrets with them to the grave.  Likewise, an eerie array of astral chords and production effects lead “Night Visions” and “Cult of Dragon” to conjure images of shadowy robed figures and high priests conspiring amidst concealed catacombs.  There’s a haunting quality that absolutely envelopes listeners into the vivid world of which The Lillingtons have given birth.

But this isn’t to say that the album is completely unrecognizable from past works.  The Lillingtons tend to wedge a few more “classic” takes between the more ambient offerings.  For instance, the stringy pop-punk chords of “Insect Nightmares” and “K6” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on “The Too Late Show,” and “They Live” ups the tempo for some fast paced Ramones-esque speed.  While lyrically still extensions of Stella Sapiente, these tracks tend to align more predictably with bands like The Riverdales and Teenage Bottle Rocket.  In other words, Stella Sapiente finds balance even amidst The Lillingtons’ unexpected ambitions.

“Unexpected” may be the most appropriate word to describe Stella Sapiente.  It only took one listen to “get” what The Lillingtons were going for, but no press release or print synopsis could have braced me for what I would find in Stella Sapiente.  Stella Sapiente may not be the album we were all expecting, but that’s only because we had no way of understanding what The Lillingtons were brewing deep within those private recording catacombs.  When all is said and done, Stella Sapiente is a landmark album by one of pop-punk’s best kept secrets, and one that may finally see The Lillingtons emerge from the nostalgic shadow of Death By Television with an entirely different legacy.

The Lillingtons Announce New LP; Stream First Track

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella SapienteLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have announced plans for their long awaited new LP.  The disc will be titled Stella Sapiente and is set to drop on October 13, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords. The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Insect Nightmares,” which can be heard below.

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The Lillingtons

The Lillingtons

Project 313

Red Scare Industries
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The Lillingtons are one of pop-punk’s most beloved projects.  Existing most prolifically between 1996 and 2006, the band garnered a well-earned reputation for television themed concept albums in Death by Television and The Too Late Show, which followed them into a seemingly endless ten year hiatus that has only just ended with the surprisingly release of a satisfying four song comeback EP.  Entitled Project 313, The Lillingtons’ return with four energetic tracks that don’t just reignite the flame, but stoke the fire back to the full bodied heat of a roaring hearth.  

Project 313 re-launches The Lillingtons’ career with a familiar sound and subject matter that doesn’t limit itself to that of past themes.  The EP avoids continuing the exclusive television focus, but ensures the inclusion of science fiction and fairly “out there” concepts.  Fans will feel blissfully at ease with the title track, which takes a nod from the tradition of three chord pop-punk and “wooo-oaah” vocal supports.  “On a rocket they sent me, and I’ve been gone now far too long, I’ve been out here all alone, no TV shows, no telephone, I got so bored I wrote this tune, wish they would have sent me to the moon,” sings front man Kody Templeman, in a fun little exposition about the lonely psychology of deep space expeditions.  “Until The Sun Shines” and “Rubber Room” are equally catchy little pop-punk numbers that speak to the challenges of living with mental illness and looking to clinical insanity as escape respectively.  Meanwhile “It’s On” battens down the hatches and resurrects The Lillingtons’ habit of infusing some heavier, metal inspired riffs.  Simply put, time has done little to dull The Lillingtons edge.

Project 313 is so true to The Lillington’ tendency for concise runtimes that like each of their past albums, it’s practically over as soon as it gets started.  Had these four tracks been the only sign of The Lillingtons on the horizon, concluding this review may have led to shedding some serious man tears.  But at the time of writing, The Lillingtons have since announced that they are taking part in the tradition of defecting from Red Scare Industries and joining the Fat Wreck Chords army (a seeming tradition); and that they already have a brand spankin’ new full length set to storm the airwaves.  If Project 313 is any indication, that moment can’t come soon enough.

The Lillingtons (Finally) Sign To Fat Wreck Chords

The LillingtonsLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have signed on with Fat Wreck Chords.  The band plans to release a new album, which was recorded at The Blasting Room, later this year.  The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

The signing comes after many years of explicit adoration from Fat Wreck Chords towards the band, but which up until now was never successful at landing the band on the label’s iconic roster.  Looks like patience and persistence have payed off for the label.

The Lillingtons – Rubber Room

The LillingtonsPop punk band The Lillingtons has premiered a new song from their upcoming album.  The song is titled “Rubber Room” and will appear on the upcoming album, Project 313, which is set to drop on June 9, 2017 via Red Scare Records.

Listen to the song below.

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Tours: Stabbed In The Back / The Lillingtons

stabbed in the backAlbuquerque, NM political punks Stabbed In Back have announced that they will be joining The Lillingtons for a handful of east coast shows in May. The band has plans for their next full length later this year with Chris Fogal of the Gamits producing, mixing and mastering the currently unnamed disc.

Tour dates below.

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The Lillingtons - The Backchannel Broadcast

The Lillingtons

The Backchannel Broadcast [re-release]

Panic Button / Red Scare Industries
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

There have been understandably energetic efforts to reintroduce The Lillingtons to the world. Their energy set them apart in early-2000s punk. Each track on the re-released Backchannel Broadcast has appeared in the ether at least once before, whether on Lookout! records, a Red Scare re-release, or a 2005 box set largely consisting of live tracks. Despite the historically plausible argument that The Lillingtons broke ground that Cobra Skulls and Rise Against discovered at best concurrently, they’ve been in dire need of an audience. The Red Scare Industries re-release is the next shot at that goal.

In some ways, their relentless obscurity makes sense. The Backchannel Broadcast was their best effort to date but, with its kitschy espionage theme may have been a bit much for a fanbase informed largely byThe Ramones and Screeching Weasel (different subsets of kitsch entirely). Some of the album’s technical decisions confuse what may have been a serious message – the out-of-place echoes on “Mind Control”-themed lines, the flimsy narration of “Wrecking Ball” – that could’ve said something important about COINTELPRO and other aspects of America’s international ‘intelligence-gathering’ later picked up on by the likes of Propaghandi and Rise Against.

Given the band’s background it’s reasonable to assert a straight political album wasn’t their intent, but the gravity put into the album’s driving chords and references to actual espionage history speak more to an unclear message rather than a lack of one.

The best tunes on the album, “Santa Fe-O” and “Mind Control” have desert sound and strong rhythms that match Cobra Skulls in their prime. Elsewhere “Badman With The Devil’s Hand” attempts the same strength without quite making it, and some tracks are propped up by six-shooter spaghetti tales that, while fun, are no Murder By Death. Indeed, on “One Armed Man” it is advised that “I’m gonna draw my gun,” so “you better run,” and the tracks with this sort of playful yet ho-hum machismo leave little impression. This tonal shift backloads the album and weakens the opening tracks’ strong focus on the world of the intelligencer.

Given the success of fraternal groups like Teenage Bottlerocket and the separate ways other members of the Lillingtons have taken, and given that some of their most interesting ideas have been taken over by more protest-oriented bands, it’s hard to be optimistic this group will soon be putting in additional effort to develop their style. Perhaps the interests of the on and off-again bandmates signal those interests are simply no longer around. That would be a shame, because despite some questionable choices on the album, they were really onto something.