Every now and then a new band comes along, seemingly out of nowhere, which blows me away. Sometimes it’s from a Spotify playlist; other times it’s as a sponsored post in my Facebook newsfeed. Quite honestly, I don’t even remember how I stumbled across LIILY, but from the moment I first heard “Toro,” I knew there was something special about these Los Angeles boys. Since the release of their debut EP, I Can Fool Anybody In This Town, those suspicions have all been confirmed.
Right away LIILY set a precedent for themselves, combining rowdy guitars with frontman Dylan Nash’s raspy vocals, a pairing that can be heard throughout much of the EP. The high-octane “Toro” serves as a fitting opener; after all, it was the first single the quartet released as a band last year, and what put them on my radar. Elsewhere, there’s a sort of ringing in the guitarwork employed, particularly on tracks like “The Weather,” the title track, and “Sold.”
If guitars are the centerpiece of LIILY’s unbridled rock-and-roll sound, it’s the stellar basslines that really take it to the next level. Often vicious, sometimes brooding, but always groovy, prominent low-end is one thing that LIILY refuses to compromise on. Together these elements combine for a raucous two-headed monster—for the most part, anyway. There are other points, though, when a more fitting description would be brooding, or even, at some points, ethereal. In the context of the EP, the slower, more eerie “Sepulveda Basin” feels like somewhat of a power ballad, even though the driving third single is the furthest thing from a “ballad.”
While I Can Fool Anybody In This Town is chiefly a rock effort, there are many more layers that make it difficult to classify merely as a “rock album.” Most notably, the EP blends different post-punk of the mid aughts, particularly on cuts like the title track and the more melodically-oriented “Nine.” Sonically, it is cohesive and yet different enough to keep your interest. What I find really intriguing though is how mature this quartet sounds, especially for how old they are. To me it sounds like they’ve been doing this rock thing (and doing it well) for a while, but this debut EP sounds like a second or third release, which is an impressive and noteworthy—but perhaps not a surprising—feat for these L.A. natives.