Lilac Daze - Sedated [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Lilac Daze

Sedated [EP] (2014)

Black Numbers

Hearing someone rant about this record as a sleeper of the year piqued my interest. Especially because my bud did it incessantly. Said Lilac Daze was one of the biggest hidden gems in the current punk scheme of things. So I investigated. Six tracks in and in just under 15 minutes, Sedated validates every word. It's one of those short burst that's got every sub—genre of punk smashed into one. The technical aspect's solid, lyrics unfiltered and the energy huge. While raw and a bit unrefined, no doubt the takeaways lie more on the positive side because with such an under—the—radar punk record, stripped layer from layer, you know the band's gonna be free to roam wherever they want and more often than not, that's a recipe for greatness. In this case, it's overwhelming. And much appreciated.

Grungy guitars fuel the opening salvo in "Frederick Rock City," which quickly transitions into an indie—punk atmosphere revolving around insecurities in life. The tempo constantly switches up with the chord progressions and lack of chorus all consistently catching you off guard...but in a good way. At 2:17, there's even a hint of Tom DeLonge breaking out as the dual vocals throw stones at Blink 182. Very neatly done I might add. When bassist Patti Kotrady chimes in on the vocals, the tunes do get dirtier (a la Adventures) but match up perfectly with the infectious pop—punk vibe off "Fountain and Medicine." Kit—driven and very up—tempo, it's such a great epilogue to the skate—punk "Life Tempo" that reeks of the '90s with its anger and overall sense of anti—establishment. The latter's a prominent theme throughout and after a few spins, it makes sense. You can pick up on the punk discontent in droves here.

The band's versatility by now stands out. Fucking astoundingly. They never miss a beat and while their ebb and flow feels incoherent at times, this kind of unconventionality seems to fit them inherently well. They're suited for mixing and matching these different sounds. Take "Kathleen" for example which barrels down with a heavy Pixies influence but still tempers itself to fit the core of the record. Again, this further builds the unrestrained and genuine feel at hand. The riffs cut so deep. Another ripping and furious piece of punk in "Porcelain God" then begins to usher you to the end in a badass poppy manner that once more leaves you wondering where this came from. Seriously. It's like a slap in the face. There's no set pattern to Lilac Daze's arrangement and with you not knowing what next to expect next, well...let's just say that all surprises work out well.

One downside is that the album's too short. If this were fleshed out and expanded upon, there'd be even more glowing tributes pouring in from me. It's such a tease and in its punk entirety Sedated stacks up highly. Can't wait to see where they take this from here. Big sprawls and epic hooks are just the tip of the iceberg for a band that seems well bolstered in every department. I'll be keeping track of them to see where they tether that rage next.