March 16, 2005

lilytones.jpgAlthough I thought the previous Lilytones split 7" with Shindig! sounded decidedly sub-par, I took the dare, did the deed, and bought the Lilytone's newest EP, Blowin' Fuses. I should have known better.

All the post-coital sensuality of Lilytone's debut, The Dreyfuss Affair, is gone. Even worse, the gimlet-eyed lyrical sensibility that earned singer Pete Crease comparisons to Davies and Albarn has been undone by Crease's insistence on singing in an incoherent, vocoder-ed falsetto.

Consider the track "Fish Are Flying": over Blather's soaring guitar and Rott's pounding zither, producer Russ Argent (late of twee supergroup The I Reckon's) insists on gilding the lily with an upside-down theremin and a full woodwind section. And when Crease's squeaking falsetto finally makes its appearance, the song simply equals more than the sum of its parts.

Even guest-vocals from Regina Spektor on "Pincushion," Crease's lighthearted sing-along about heroin addiction, can't hide the fact that the Lilytones are just painting by numbers.

It pains me to say it, but this could spell the end of the Lilytones - for this reviewer, at least. Let's hope their forthcoming LP, Disemployment Officer, finds the band in back-to-basics mode.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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