Wicked Liz & The Bellyswirls CD Review
My good friends in Wicked Liz & The Bellyswirls have a new album and I'm so proud of and happy for them! It's a 5 song EP called "5" (because Pearl Jam already took "Ten"). They'll be celebrating at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island for the CD Release Party Thursday Sept 21 at 7pm!
It's a great album! The day I got it in the mail, I cranked it when I took the kids to school. I ran some errands and by the time I got back home, I was in love with it. I got on the Facepage & wrote:
I stand by that statement. "Lonely" is a great song but let's go over it a little deeper into the album recorded at Catamont Studios and produced by Travis Huismann.
"Tell Me" kicks off the album with Leo Kelly's amazing guitar tone ripping out a monster Faces-style lick. It's an uptempo blues/pop/rocker that WLBS are known for and will most likely be a mainstay in their setlist. This is a crowd pleaser that is going to get people to their feet!
"Lonely" is a slow builder. The best songs have tension and have release and holy cow this has it in spades! Liz opens up with some sultry tones and then eventually belts out this chorus that makes you think it was your buttons she'd been pushing. "I'd rather have heartache than have you here with me". Jezuz! I've been there! This is probably the best song they've ever written ("Crutch" is right up there). Maybe it's just a great song...maybe I just happen to relate. Probably both.
"Dance With Me" is a beautiful sentiment in this waltzy little number. As a father this rings loud & true. "The days get lonely without the sound of you telling me, 'Come On, the work will wait." Too much of the grind gets in the way. Just dance and at least for a moment, it will be alright. Great percussion on this one. Greg knows how to sweeten the song in a very tasteful manner.
"Go Girl" is rockus girl power anthem with a great keyboard lick and a couple great guitar solos. If "Dance with Me" is "enjoy it now, because they grow up too fast" then "Go Girl" is that rally cry once they hit school.
"No Place Better" is what it's like to hang out with Liz, Leo, Bob & Greg. What an amazing group of people. "Life will bring you down, but we'll bring you up." It's a true statement. I don't get to see these folks very often, but it's a pleasure every time. Bob really shines on this one. Some great bass runs. Tasteful as hell. Perfect ending to a great album. It almost feels like it could be credits on the back of a Drew Barrymore film.
All in all a great album but I'd be wrong not to acknowledge Ezra on keyboards. He's either the quiet MVP or best supporting musician. It would be a different sounding record without him. Bob & Greg are an amazing rhythm section. When the two instruments merge into one wall of sound, that's the stuff! Leo's tone is alway great, but on this record it's above and beyond what they've done in the past. Liz is an amazing songwriter that continues to pull inspiration from the life bouncing off the walls around her.
It would be very easy for this band to only play shows. I'm really glad they decided to put out a record. Even a 5 song EP. It's chance to share these guys with my kids on the car stereo or turn a friend onto a great band. Art is only appreciated when it's shared with other people. Thanks for not keeping this to yourselves, guys.
The CD is available for download through iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. But go see the band Thursday in Rock Island for a guaranteed great time!