As a connoisseur of economy dining, I can’t help but notice how the all-you-can-eat rock and roll salad bar is becoming less (and less) appetizing. Yet, there I was, just the other day, peering through the smeared plexiglass sneeze deflector, hoping to sample something that wasn’t totally disgusting. Dude, is that a Band-Aid bobbing in the bleu cheese dressing? And then I spotted it. Mmm! Between the canister of stale Album Oriented Rock and the bowl of soggy pop-punk was an appealing little platter. What the heck is Lilieae? It sure looked delicious, but would it actually be tasty? Only one way to find out. Scoop! Scoop! Scoop!

Zinging with all the zesty flavor of the most robust Warped Tour entrées, Lilieae (LIL-EE-AY) pleases the palate, without the unpleasant metalcore aftertaste. An initial culinary partnership between frontchick Lydia Puccini and bassist Kayleigh Hyland (possibly while donning matching monogrammed aprons), the Cleveland-based combo cooked up its sweet and savory debut EP, Level, in 2019. With a newly reorganized prep staff, Lilieae has returned from the kitchen in 2021 with its latest mouth-watering confection, Run! Run! Run!

Lilieae by Nathan Rogers

Overseen by ace engineer, Jacob Kirkwood at Cleveland’s Superior Sound Studios, Run! Run! Run! proves impressive — an irresistible six-song set that checks all the boxes; massive melodies, catchy choruses, raucous riffs and chops galore.

Packing chaotic Icon for Hire-caliber crunch, “Burn the Witch” finds Puccini projecting bona fide Ariel Bloomer-inspired pissed-off pinkness, while the backside-blistering guitar duo of Donald Pelc and Eric Kennedy buzzes and blazes — firing off ferocious fretwork that ain’t afraid of a little old school wah-wah.

Of the record’s shiniest highlights, “Take Me Home” and “What I Said” both reside in a quaint cul-de-sac near the intersection of Veruca Salt Street and Paramore Place. “Fool’s Gold” revs from a chug into a full-on Candy Hearts-flavored trot — YEAH! MORE WAH-WAH, DUDE!

Despite possessing complete current street credit, “Siren” offers subtle, yet still fabulous ’80s rock flare— dig if you will, a picture of a less than well-adjusted Andy Taylor. Seemingly struggling to find its true identity, the epic-length “November” is the record’s schizophrenic square peg. Fortunately, it does finally find its safe space.

Total props to the ass-tight rhythm section of Hyland and drummer, Joe Stefano. The truth is, a rock band is built on the drums. And if your drummer sucks, then your band sucks — plain and simple. Fortunately for Lilieae, Stefano is an absolute beast — BRAVO!

The record dropped digitally and across all the streaming platforms on October 1st. However, it also will be released on limited edition vinyl at the band’s October 15th official launch party in Cleveland.

In sum, Run! Run! Run! — come for the crunch. Stay for the songs. Just avoid the bleu cheese dressing!

Run! Run! Run! Track Listing:

1. Burn the Witch (3:50)
2. Take Me Home (3:53)
3. What I Said (3:53)
4. Fool’s Gold (425)
5. Siren (3:41)
6. November (5:55)

Run Time: 25:37
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Record Label: Self-Release

Christopher Long is a celebrated author, entertainment writer, TV / radio contributor, award-winning musician, popular speaker and international missionary. Referred to once as "the rock and roll Erma Bombeck," Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and possessing a passion for sharing his unique perspectives on pop culture, faith and politics. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Long currently lives near Cocoa Beach. (AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com)