[Review courtesy of Ryan Getz with TUNED UP - Aug. 24, 2018]
Like many in Columbus, my first experience with Lily in the Weeds frontwoman Alex Burnsides was in the context of rock/funk/whatever extravaganza Zoo Trippin’. Frontman Tony Casa has been known to say onstage that Alex “is a national treasure.” I have yet to experience Lily in the Weeds in a live setting, but I know that if her live guest appearances with Zoo Trippin’ as a complimentary vocalist are any indication, her new project is similarly a force to be reckoned with.
Lily in the Weeds is the latest in a wave of bands in Columbus embracing blues rock. You might be familiar with names like Orion and the Constellations, Clemens and Co., or Souther if you’ve spent any time at all around the local scene of Columbus—and I’d put any of these bands up against their counterparts in other cities.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen Burnsides perform a number of times already, but in the context of Lily in the Weeds, I can basically hear the confidence in her voice. It sounds like she’s having fun, too. In “Don’t Make a Scene” this rings especially true; most people enjoy getting to express a bit of attitude in the context of art, and this song is no exception. When that chorus gives way to a wailing guitar solo, it’s incredibly satisfying and infectious.
My second time listening to “High Road,” the regret of not attending their EP release show settles in. I know I was at a different show that I enjoyed a lot as well, but the fact that a song can make me forget all about that other show for a second speaks volumes. Now, I’m not going to sit here and patronize you and say these blues jams are the best thing since sliced bread or sling accolades to get brownie points from another local band. But! I’m definitely having fun listening to this EP. Even sitting outside with an iced chai, as I often do in the summer time when I set aside time to work on this blog. And the fun continues in the slower moments too—the uptempo songs all seem to follow a similar formula for the most part, so some slower moments offer needed variety and show off another method of showing the attitude you ought to be familiar with by now.
In fact, the only real criticism I have of this EP is that I wish the mix offered a bit more punch. I always appreciate some good bass. “Unsatisfied” is probably the most balanced song on the record in this regard.
Well, this EP certainly put me in a particular kind of musical mood that doesn’t happen all too often. I just switched over to Maylene and the Sons of Disaster to keep the mood going. Lily in the Weeds will make you crave more grit to your music, too.