LILLINGTONS, THE: Stella Sapiente: CD

You could’ve fooled me, Kody. The Project 313 EP that was released as a pre-curser to this new LP was stellar, but it doesn’t have the almost-goth vibe they hint at on Stella Sapiente. But with that in mind, while the new record does have a unique feel to it compared to their other records, it’s still very much a Lillingtons album. And that’s a good thing. This needs to be addressed, as I’ve read a lot of comments and reviews alluding to post-punk, even making reference to bands like Crusades. I get where people are going with that, but it’s misleading (and bullshit). Yes, the album is chock full of elongated intros that sound somewhat reminiscent of Echo & The Bunnymen, there are lyrical themes that are clearly dark and touch on religion, et cetera, but aside from that, the crux of each song is what you’d expect from the band who gave you Death by Television. In short, no major surprises in Kody’s voice, song structures, or guitar leads, except for the fact that the band is clearly at the peak of their musicianship. Kody’s voice has never sounded so good. How many singers can say that after twenty years? Some might disagree, but some of these songs even remind me of a few of them lesser-known hits on later Ramones records, like Mondo Bizzaro or Brain Drain (albeit this release is much slicker). “Perfect Pleasure” is likely my track of choice on this sucker. –Steve Adamyk (Fat Wreck, fatwreck.com)