Lilac Daze is a pop-punk/post-grunge indie garage rock band from Frederick, MD. They have released three records since 2013, toured all over the east coast, and still, arguably, have not received the credit they deserve in their own hometown. Sedated, their latest six song EP has been played through my speakers more times than I can remember since its release in July 2014. That was around the time I had just begun to venture into the Frederick scene, moving just a short distance away from everything familiar near DC, knowing nothing about what I was in for.
The city of Frederick, friendly and welcoming at first, had gradually revealed itself to be the center of its own universe; one that is split down the middle into folk and heavy metal music, with room for little more than a few Weezeresque polished garage rock bands in between. I have been lucky enough to hear a hand full of great rock bands here with real originality and creativity, but they are hard to find. I would bet that there are lots more, practicing in basements and bedrooms just waiting for the right opportunity to be heard. Within the folk and metal genres there are ones worth hearing, but they will almost certainly have that opportunity since the scene caters to that. (End rant).
I had heard Matt’s other project, Cosmic Halitosis, play live on occasion, and even once shared a bill. Though I will admit I was put off by the name, I was instantly a fan of his catchy songwriting and lively, playful style. So I was not surprised to fall deeply in like with Lilac Daze. Sedated starts out strong with Frederick Rock City, the heartfelt, melodic song that sticks in my head sometimes for weeks at a time with the lines:
“I used to think all humans were inherently good
every time i’m wrong someone proves me right
what’s the riddle to this?
I think i’m too serious”
I will have to call this one my favorite, though the rest of the album certainly backs up the good first impression. These songs are all heavy and melodic, and abrasive in all the right ways. They have a fun and bouncy energy that makes for a great live show. There is something childlike about the lyrics– philosophical, disillusioned but innocent, and strikingly honest. This music has heart and passion. It’s the kind of music that gets real enough to physically lift you out of a bad situation through its words and conveyed emotions. The guitar and bass parts are straightforward and stark, and the tone is satisfyingly crunchy. The drums are solid, and seem to lead the whole operation. The band’s aesthetic is consistent and charming. They have all the makings of a band that will go far, and I hope they do.
by Wanda Perkins