Though it has been more than a decade since The Tigerlilies put out their third official release, Ceci N’est Pas Pop, the invincible Cincinnati Rock veterans have hardly been idle. The group has maintained its draw on the local club front with consistent shows and, as the group’s latest LP shows, they’ve continued to grow as songwriters and players.
The Tigerlilies put out their fourth release, the 12-track In the Dark, late last year and this Friday the band will host an album release celebration at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). Local Punk group Subsets opens the free show at 10 p.m.
The Tigerlilies’ sound has not wavered much in the band members’ 20-plus years of creating it. The core of the group (which was the darling of the very first Cincinnati Entertainment Awards 17 years ago, winning Artist of the Year and Album of the Year honors) has remained untouched, with drummer Steve Hennessy and bassist Brian Driscoll providing the swaggering rhythmic throb and Pat Hennessy delivering his strong, distinct vocals and guitar work.
What has changed is The Tigerlilies’ second guitar slot, which has always been filled by fantastic players who helped shape the colors and shades of the music. In the Dark is the first album with the band’s current guitarist, Brendan Bogosian, whose sonic personality is a great fit for the ’Lilies’ Post Punk-flavored Power Pop. Bogosian’s style is like a mix of early guitarist Steve Schmoll’s adventurous approach, more recent guitarist William Weber’s Johnny Thunders-styled flavoring and Pat Hennessy’s own playing, which is influenced by guitarists like Public Image Ltd.’s Keith Levene. Bogosian’s easy chemistry with Hennessy was noticeable immediately but is especially evident on In the Dark.
In the Dark kicks off with a handful of tracks that are among the best in The Tigerlilies’ rock-solid song catalog. Live staple and lead-off track “Hold On Tight” sets the tone by showcasing everything that is great about the band — a blustery, chugging rhythmic rumble, eardrum-commandeering hooks and wiry guitar interplay.
“Don’t Let It Get You Down” is a fantastic slice of songwriting that Mick Jones would have been proud to have come up with back in his days with The Clash. Other highlights include the slinky title track (which shows off some of the newer dynamics of Hennessy’s vocals), the Ramones-ish “Green Eyes” and the slow-crawling, somber “Victims of Circumstance.”
Earlier this year, Buzz Osborne of influential, 30-year-old Pacific Northwest rockers Melvins participated in a piece for avclub.com in which he picked his favorite songs by “bands that were good, but blew it.” Alongside some artists who have lost their magic touch over time (The Rolling Stones, The Who), Osborne included selections by short-lived bands Isis and The Cows, who seemed to just get sick of being bands. Osborne said those bands “blew it” in a different way — for weak or apathetic reasons, instead of building on their creative success they broke up at the height of their artistic powers not realizing what they had.
The Tigerlilies know they have a good thing and have endured lineup, label and cultural changes (among other difficulties) that would’ve killed a lesser group. Cincinnati is lucky they’re so dedicated and continue to call the Queen City their home. (facebook.com/TheTigerliliesUSA)
Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Return This Sunday
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony/party returns for its 17th annual celebration of the Greater Cincinnati music scene this Sunday at Madison Theater (730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., madisontheateronline.com). The show is open to music fans of all ages and kicks off at 7 p.m.
Along with the presentation of awards in 19 categories and lots of fun planned by first-time host (and CityBeat Arts & Culture editor) Jac Kern, this year’s CEAs will feature more live performances than ever. The show will open with a secret — an all-star crew going by the name Saint Ain’t Mangled Angels. There will also be a special appearance by Folk trio The Tillers, who will pay tribute to their former bassist, Jason Soudrette, who passed away last year. Rounding out the great performance lineup are 2014 CEA nominees DAAP Girls, The Almighty Get Down, Moonbow, Valley High, Honey & Houston, The Yugos and The Upset Victory.
Immediately after the CEA show, ticket holders are invited to attend the famous/infamous after party at BLDG (30 W Pike St., Covington, Ky., 513-491-4228). Indie/Electronic band Dark Colour will perform and Melissa Fairmount and Dana Hamblen of The Fairmount Girls will once again be doling out the “Fashion Trashies,” special handmade awards given to the best/worst/weirdest dressed CEA attendees (so be sure to look your best/worst/weirdest on the red carpet!).
Tickets to the CEA show are available at cincyticket.com for $20 (they’ll be $25 at the door). Proceeds benefit the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation. Also available at cincyticket.com are special VIP tickets. For $40, VIPs get some goodies from the Heritage Foundation (including a membership), food and drinks, private seating, performances by DJ squad Selectas Choice and more.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org.