MP3 Lollygag - I Thought You Were Driving
Former Fondly and Echolalia indie pop rock singer songwriter solo artist complete with piano, acoustic and crunchy guitars, accordian and Moogs a go-go.
12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, ROCK: Emo
CD review by Tellitron 6/15/2006
Lollygag''s Debut Is a Pleasure....
Near the end of Lollygag''s debut album "I Thought You Were Driving", singer/songwriter Brian Burkhard delivers a direct Bush-bashing mantra: "Eight years is way too long, eight years is way too long, eight years is way too long.....". Hell in a Handbasket''s weary sentiment could easily be echoed by fans of Burkhard''s previous musical incarnation Fondly -- a Chicago-based trio that produced 2 stellar albums of indie-punk in the mid to late 90''s. Indeed, it''s been about 8 years since he focused on guitar-based songwriting, having spent many of the intervening years immersed in the world of electronics. Using the alias Echolalia, Burkhard recorded a kraut-rock gem of an album, Solid State Alone, and mastered the fine art of the remix. But as engaging as these synthetic adventures were, there was always the feeling that a return to guitar and vocals was imminent -- and overdue. Now, armed with a new name and the addition of piano and accordion to the mix, Burkhard tackles his mid-life crisis head-on with an album full of personal and cultural observations that stay with you long after the needle runs the final groove. Opening track "It''s a Pleasure" starts things off in an impressive fashion with a dissonant riff that eventually settles into a melancholy two chord progression over which Burkhard seems to recount a dangerous liason with a femme fatale: "when all things good are wrapped in lace/you just want to slap my face". A more focused and mature sound is already in evidence here with delicate piano underpinning the slightly restrained guitar. But one thing remains the same -- Burkhard''s uncanny ability to write a memorable hook, a talent that made the earlier Fondly albums so enjoyable. "Do You Really Think" continues the piano/guitar theme and features a criminally catchy vocal harmony that targets this track for single release. "A Million Miles Away" and "Pictures of You at Night" could be lost tracks from Fondly''s debut album with hints of Beatles psychedelia, heavier distortion and spacey effects courtesy of a Moog. Lyrically, Burkhard seems to be struggling with a need to escape from the responsibilities that come with age and acknowledging that there''s simply nowhere to go: "goddamn if I''m not sick of me". The two real highlights of the album, "I Should Have" and "What to Tell the Kids" both feature wonderfully plaintive, wistful melodies that haunt the psyche. A driving drumbeat carries the verses of the former giving way to a regret-filled chorus while the latter is enticingly bittersweet punctuated by a dark, swinging rhythm and da-da vocal coda. It is one of Burkhard''s finest moments as a songwriter as he wonders "what to tell the kids" about this strange, alarming time we are living in. With more than a hint of resignation he concludes "let them see it for what it''s worth". The aforementioned Hell in a Handbasket and The United States of Canada (a song that afforded Burkhard the studio time to make the album by way of winning an internet loop-based writing competition) bring the album to its natural conclusion, each track contemplating the seeming end of civilization as we know it. Eight years has indeed been way too long, but Lollygag signals a new musical era for Burkhard and the patient fans of Fondly. The wait has definitely been worth it.
CD review by LMNOP® in August 2006 issue
Lollygag - I Thought You Were Driving (CD, Bent, Progressive pop)
Lollygag is the solo project created by Brian Burkhard who was previously in the 1990s band Fondly. We were always rather fond of Fondly...despite the fact that the band never seemed to find an appropriate fan base. (They were apparently too obtuse for the commercial crowd and too commercial for the artsy crowd.) In any event, the band''s music has always stayed with us. Fortunately, Burkhard continues to write and record credible and entertaining music that is not unlike his previous band. Lollygag tunes are centered in the progressive pop arena. Burkhard''s guitar playing is still intriguing and precise...but on this album he also dabbles with grand piano, bass, keyboards, and accordion. The main difference we notice between this band and Fondly...is that Lollygag seems to incorporate more variety into the music. This twelve track album is pure entertainment for thinking listeners. Some of these cuts sound similar to Tom Verlaine. Cool tracks include "It''s a Pleasure," "A Million Miles Away," "You''re Halfway Through," and "United States of Canada." (Rating: 5 out of 6)