There is no denying the power that music can have in bringing us all together, especially in times of tragedy. Shortly after the death of David Jones, lead vocalist of Enemy You, tributes came pouring in from all over the globe of bands who appreciated his band’s music in ways they couldn’t even begin to describe. Enemy You ruled the 90’s melodic punk scene, and left a remarkable footprint for other bands to follow in wake of this tragedy. The Lillingtons have lovingly re-imagined several songs from Jones’s catalog for the Red Scare Industries covers EP called Can Anybody Hear Me? In these six songs that comprise this record, you can hear the magic of David Jones’s legacy all over these carefully crafted covers. In a recent interview for the publication, Brooklyn Vegan, The Lillingtons’ vocalist/guitarist Kody Templeman (Teenage Bottlerocket) added, “We were fans of David Jones’s music before Enemy You, but he was at his peak as a songwriter during that time. Those albums have always been special to us. David will always be special to us. We’re proud and honored to be releasing these songs along with Ken and Chris.” The record has been pressed to vinyl with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The record blasts off with the melodic, NOFX-stylized brand of punk, called “Automaton.” The Lillingtons’ do the song perfect justice by capturing the spirit of the original. My favorite from the EP comes in the second song, “72 Hours,” where Templeman sways between the punk chords with veteran ease as he sings on the perfectly crafted chorus, ” ‘Cos though our clocks are ticking / Right now we’re here and kicking / If I head for that cliff will you still catch me? / Each time they turn it up / But I just tear it down / My thoughts alkaline and I run on gasoline.” The energetic lyrics bring on new life as The Lillingtons charge up the tempo to give the song some new legs.
”Awake” features a nice tempo change at the midway point of the song, and is reminiscent of early Bad Religion. For a compilation made up of a different vocalist and drummer, but the same bassist (Chris Matulich) and rhythm guitarist (Ken Yamazaki), they have a ton of great chemistry and their musical chops are razor sharp. The consistency of these punk veterans is also felt on “The Only One” and spiraling “Hopes and Dreams.” On the latter track, David Jones would certainly be proud looking at the legacy he has left behind that inspired so many punk rockers (The Lillingtons included) to pick up a guitar and play their hearts out. Punk rock seems like an easy genre to play, but to do it this damn well takes a lot of practice and remarkable talent.