Strength & Grace Album Reviews
(Released on A Line Records 17/7/17)
Just took delivery of this album, after having to wait on the second pressing, so popular was the first!... Obviously 'Inside' is the key track. Love the vocals on that, nice rock feel to it, reminds me a bit of Amy Lee and how she likes to variate between emotional quiet vocals to the more raunchier powerful vocal.
'Out Of Yourself' is my personal favourite! Vocals are luscious, warm, dreamlike. Not sure if Anna Christina has harmonised with someone else, harmonised with herself, or simply over-dubbed! Love this one lyrically too. A gem!
'Braveface', I love! Combination of the bass and drums is absolutely spot on. Well done to the mixing team! What goes around is a good old fashioned anthemic rock choon. Great mix of melodic and raunch. Hard to categorise this band, and that is probably what the band want to hear!
All in all, a brilliant album. Can't really say there's a weak track on there. Lyrics a tad dark in places, and I like that Anna Christina can express emotion without it sounding too dark. But the album isn't just about Anna Christina! David Ryder Prangley's guitar work is sublime, and the rhythm section of Belle and Adie is powerful, yet sublime. Aaron's guitar work also adds so much to this quite brilliant album. [Garreth Plant 2018]
BLACK PHOENIX RISING METAL FORUM
INSIDE: - A pulsating beat opens the track as a deep throbbing bass follows, Anna-Christina comes in with some lovely ethereal vocals. This is a very atmospheric and trance like number full of little gems of various sounds. The track comes more alive with a catchy chorus that adds brightness to the proceedings. The number grabs your mind and soul cloaking it with a mellow wave of sound and lovely arrangements as it swoons and sways in and out of different tones and shades.
OUT OF YOURSELF: - Opening with just the delicate soft vocals of Anna-Christina which are very soothing as she draws you into the number as a spacey sound comes into play followed by humming strings. There seems to be a lot of sadness in the over all feel at this stage. The track then goes into a steady beat and ignites with some lovely guitar work and Belle's drum beat. A warming glow oozes from every pore of this mixed track, that has been beautifully arranged around Anna-Christina's classy vocals. A deep feeling number full of ambience.
FREE INSTEAD: - This is a more uptoned number with a funky, groovy beat, mellow in places and a stroger rocking groove in others. Anna-Christina is on fine form with her wonderful, effective vocals. Great rocking guitar riffs and solos in this number that gives the track a dose of super energy, whist Belle's drumming taps out a great solid backbone beat. A number full of little gems of brilliance.
BRAVEFACE: - From the onset we have a soft piano along side Anna-Christina's vocals and a nice deep bass, as a solid tempo starts to develop. Great piano work really adds essence to the number along side some soft strings. This is another track full of deep feeling and emotion and is soothing and relaxing. There is a slight jazzy edge in places and the far out guitar vibes all add that extra touch. A softish number that has been carefully arranged and delivered to full effect for your enjoyment.
UNDER YOUR SKIN: - We are back and delving into a very delicate mode as we open with Anna-Christina's soothing vocals along side a soft background sound. This is a very nice number that sinks slowly into your system. The track explodes with some octane fuelled energy as fuzzy, soaring guitars come into play together with some deep bass lines and Belle's powerful drumming, a strong section before the track floats down and settles back for a soft ending.
THE DARKNESS FADES: - Another atmospheric number with super piano notes, soft rumbling bass lines and lots of delicate vibes and auras. Anna-Christina's crystal clear vocals shine like a diamond. Great arrangements on this low key track that has a wonderful essence to it, excellent meaningful song delivered with great subtlety. Haunting at times.
WHAT GOES AROUND: - Right here we go with a more rockier number that has a great groove. Anna-Christina produces a much stronger vocal style here along with great stabbing guitars and Belle on fine form with a great drum beat. The track has a super, catchy, commercial style chorus that is delightful. Lovely stuff with a chunky vibes and different little avenues to discover.
MIND & SOUL: - We begin with some lovely acoustic guitar work as Anna-Christina comes in with some breathtaking fragile vocals that delve deep into your soul and stir up a great feeling within. This is a beautiful song that oozes love and is full of meaningful and emotional vibes. Let this number waft over you and sink into your very being, it may even bring a little tear to the corner of your eye. A highly emotional offering indeed and it is absolutely stunning.
What we have here with LILYGUNS latest offering is an album of pure chilling out delight, if you are looking for something to headbang to, then this album is not for you (although there are some outburts of more rockier interludes) this is an album to put on the earphones and sit down and relax to. Well crafted and arranged and so different to what they have produced before. Anna-Christina with hell a lot of talent and a great song writer to be admired and listened to. This album is a breathe of fresh air and so different to the norm, highly enjoyable, one for the purists and fans of the softer side of the rock genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. [Graham Letchford 2017]
This album is not metal, a kinda soft rock record with ample crossover appeal that should surely see Lilygun propelled onto mainstream radio big time! 'Inside' is a brooding opener with a helluva catchy chorus with second cut 'Out Of Yourself' another slow brooding number. The band can also take it up a notch with cuts like 'What Goes Around', coupled with another catchy chorus. This album is a beautiful effort, encompassing mainly slow atmospheric tracks, but it is well worth checking out. [Dave Smith 2017]
Inside Single Reviews
(Released on A Line Records 8/10/16)
THE ROCKPIT - Inside Music Video
What does a London-based rock bands first music video look like? It’s guaranteed, not many will look like Lilyguns! With the release of their first music video, Lilygun prove to not only be unique in sound but also in vision. ‘Inside’ is the Bass-tastic first single from their forthcoming second album Strength & Grace, due for release later this month. Judging by this song, it’s going to be an album well worth investigating. Lead singer/songwriter Anna-Christina’s raw and powerful performance is captured beautifully in the video, directed by David Ryder Prangley (of Rachel Stamp fame), revealing a dark stylised character reminiscent of a Gothic Kate Bush. The charismatic front-woman has dedicated this video to her brain surgeon Mr Kevin O’Neill, who saved her life. A pretty harrowing yet touching dedication. [Andrew Massie 2017]
VIPER THE UNDEAD
Dark, moody, atmospheric, and assuredly one for the Goths to instantly love unto death. 
Lilygun is fronted by Anna-Christina and on October 8th they released a single called 'Inside'. This was the last song singer Anna-Chistina wrote before suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. I have always liked Anna-Christina and Lilygun, their self titled album that I reviewed in 2012 is a good un. The song in question is a great number with crossover appeal and a great chorus. The track is from the forthcoming album 'Strength and Grace'. On the strength of this one track, if the album is this good, it will be well worth checking out!! 'Inside' showcases Anna-Christina's awesome pop/rock vocal style. [Dave Smith 2016]
Debut Album Reviews
(Released on A Line Records/Cargo Records 10/9/12)
FEMME METAL WEBZINE
LILYGUN are a fantastic female fronted rock band with a killer line up: Anna-Christina – Songwriter/Vocals/Guitar, Belle Star – Drums/Percussion and Ashley Dreher – Bass. The debut album kicks off with the transcending track Sunlight Dream which steams ahead with many vocal layers and tones throughout which portrays the feeling of a drifter floating through the dreams of many others. A great track to start off a fantastic album! I have fallen in love with the vocal flicks in Peace Of Mind, not to mention the way Anna-Christina has this way of taking you into every track, almost teaching you how to feel each lyric with every part of you. It is a very unique experience listening to this album in particular, its like a drug providing an unsuspecting addiction.... One listen and you too will be hooked. Finally I shall finish on my personal favourite track which has to be Moonlight as I have an absolute sweet spot for the addition of Violins to tracks, melts my heart in the best of ways. [10/10 Peach Galea 2016]
Gunning for Glory - To those that have previously crossed paths with Lilygun, this debut album has been eagerly anticipated - if not long overdue. To all those who have not yet come across Lilygun, it will be a very pleasant introduction. The self titled album has taken its time to come to life but as the old saying going, good things come to those that wait and Lilygun fits perfectly in that bracket. There have been many debut albums that bring you that "wow" factor and Lilygun is right up there with the best. With only 8 tracks on the album you may be forgiven to question are you getting value for money but when you find out that the shortest track lasts for 4 minutes you suddenly realise you are getting more music than most 12 track albums. Although at 7 quid it would be very hard to complain about the price either way. And that is the nearest I can get to for a negative comment for the entire album.
Lilygun have always been about creating their own sound, doing their own thing and it works. The songs are atmospheric, played brilliantly but above all sung to perfection by front woman Anna-Christina. Each song beautifully tells a story with genuine heartfelt and intelligent lyrics. Moonlight and My Ways being perfect example of the atmospheric feel while opener Sunlight Dream and Excuses showcase the rockier side. One good thing about debut albums is that you can put any of your back catalogue on it, no matter how old. That is the case with Diamonds, which we first reviewed as a single way back in 2008 and, along with the sinister Conversations, we are more than delighted to see them make an appearance here. They have matured nicely with age too fitting in with new tracks. Finally, Lilygun are getting the attention and recognition from the music industry for all their qualities and hard work. About bloody time too. [13/13 Neil Richardson 2012]
RUSH ON ROCK
Escaping the genre trap with consummate ease, Lilygun’s self-titled debut deals in freedom of expression and a feast of guitar-driven emotion dredged from the depths of London’s underground live music scene. On opener Sunlight Dreams singer Anna-Christina sounds uncannily like Geddy Lee on the latest Rush album and there’s no escaping the prog-tinged power of this band’s best work. But the folksy, brooding acoustica of My Ways drops things down a notch or two – allowing Lilygun virgins their first real opportunity to judge the voice of Anna-Christina in full bloom. On the whole, it’s a beautiful sound. Impossible to pigeon-hole and yet easy to admire, Lilygun could be the shot in the arm British rock is searching for. [8/10 Gun-Ho 2012]
It seems like an age ago that we first featured Lilygun, but looking back on it we were blown away by the bands ability to combine a technical approach with a mass appeal sound, resulting in something which will appeal to fans of all sorts of music. As a result of this sound, the band recently signed a deal with Cargo Records, meaning they’re now on the first rung of the ladder, heading towards getting the attention which they deserve. They were kind enough to whack me over a copy of their new album before I went away, so I took some serious time checking it out, listening to it over and over again, and really trying to break it apart in my mind. Whilst simple sounding at first, there’s a serious edge to things – but allow me to explain!
Sunlight Dream gets things going, immediately setting the tone with a rocky, blues like riff underpinned by a solid drumline and soaring lead guitar, the whole mix forming something which immediately grabs your attention and pulls you in. As the soft and melodic vocals are ushered in the mix continues to develop, forming into an almost Alice In Chains like sound, combining different levels of vocals with different backing elements, the tone roving between hard hitting and melodic intricacies. Couple these intricacies with a real sense of catchiness and power and what you’ve got is a sound which is going to appeal to the masses, a sound which is going to impact hard on those that hear it and a sound which is going to propel these guys into the limelight. Peace Of Mind follows much the same conventions, this time opening in a far more restrained manner to allow the different elements of the band to each have their own say in the mix, it’s a mix which allows you to hear everything and fully take it in. Catchy once again, this track marks a serious highpoint on the album, and a track which I wouldn’t be surprised to see coming out as a single.
My Ways slows everything down for a moment, pulling back from the powerful approach initially and simply offering up an acoustic guitar line accompanied by the soft and soothing vocal lines of Anna Christina. This contrast pushes this track to a whole new level, once again demonstrating the bands understanding of the more technical side of their sound, as well as how to organise the tracks on an album in order to gain maximum impact from them. Personally, this is one of my favourite tracks from the album, the track progressing from soft through to hard hitting and offering up a guitar solo of epic proportions, the whole mix forming a track which again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see as a single, it’s an incredibly accomplished piece of work and one which the band should be damn pleased with. Following on with Moonlight (see below), the album continues its melodic and powerful journey, moving on to Excuses to once again show of their more raucous side. Hard hitting from the word go, this track is a transportation back to the earlier moments of the album where the more rock orientated side of the band was on display. Still managing to combine their hard hitting approach with a real sense of melody, the dark and melodic approach of the track roves between grunge like guitar moments and more refined, laid back elements simply focusing on the soft and almost haunting vocal lines.
Following on with Conversations, the theme of technical ability continues, this time offering up an off piste guitar and drum combination combined with an almost spat vocal line. The chilled out approach combined with the technical side of the band once again stands this track out, almost showcasing the abilities within the band and showing that they’re not afraid to do their own thing, take their own path and explore their own means of creating music. Catchy once again, this is the sort of track which is going to realise its full potential on the live scene, crafting a sound which is going to satisfy the appetites of eager fans and convert new ones to the band. Once again contrasting things with the introduction of Scum, the sound reverts to a more laid back approach once again, accentuating the sound of the vocals with a soft and melodic guitar line. Despite this soft approach, there’s also a real sense of darkness flowing through the opening moments of this track, almost as if to show there’s a lot of anger built up in the introduction. As the track breaks and the chorus kicks in then the true power of the track is realised, once again offering us a catchy chorus underpinned by a real sense of a message, almost as if the band have used this track to say something they wanted to get across, and they’ve done it damned well.
Closing the album with Diamonds it’s almost as if the lovely people in Lilygun saved another high point for the final moments, closing as it began with a track which will stand out and connect with old and new fans alike. Soft as it opens, there’s a real sense that this is going to be a hard hitting track as it grows around you, the guitar urging you to listen harder whilst the mix builds up around it. The result, a track which is dark, haunting, melodic, powerful and once again, incredibly well accomplished. It’s hard to pick fault with a track this good, and as the album comes to a close there’s only one thought left – why isn’t there more to listen to?! What’s most striking about the album from Lilygun is how they’ve combined a real sense of catchiness with their technical approach to things, combining their signature sound with an almost mainstream like quality, something which will stand them out as more than a simple rock band. This ability, and the resulting sound is what makes this such a stand out album, and one which I have a feeling is going to do remarkably well once it’s in the public domain from the 10th of September. If you only ever listen to one album we review, then make it this one – believe me when I say it’s worth your while! [Dave Nicholls 2012]
NANOBOT ROCK REVIEWS
Allow me to preface this with a warning – there will likely be some gushing. You see, few bands in recent memory have grabbed my attention like London rockers Lilygun. As a rule, I make a habit of listening to an album the whole way through, making a few mental notes as I go, before putting pen to paper in writing a proper review. With this recording, perhaps more than any other, I had to wipe the slate clean with each song. Three songs in, I simply stopped trying to define or categorize this band and instead just let it be heard. There is so much depth to this record, school children should make wishes and throw coins at it. It’s dark and cerebral, it’s moody and pensive, it’s operatic and it rocks balls. Musically, there is an evident solid chemistry with gorgeous bass lines by Aaron John and David Ryder Prangley and drummer Belle Star laying down the foundation for massive orchestral highs and magnificently simple lows. Add to this a deliciously balanced mix of guitar sounds, ranging from haunting background growls to full bore wall-o’-sound solos that make me want to strap on leather and Doc Martin’s and destroy something (I’m more tame these days, so I just ripped the tag off of a mattress… but it STAYED ripped…).
Tracks like “Peace of Mind” and “Excuses” are great examples of what makes Lilygun so… well, so Lilygun. Both so groove laden they verge on playful at times, each have such great and distinct ‘hook’ on the chorus you’ll have it in your head for hours. “Peace of Mind,” in particular, features a guitar solo from James Ford that – I promise you – you’ll rewind to listen to at least a few times. Further adding to the mix, the lyrics on “Excuses” I found to be a full-bore permission slip to speak my mind and give the world my own brand of hell. Among my favorite tracks is “Conversations.” Gritty, and almost 3 dimensional in the layering of sound, this has guitars that sound like they are right next to you one moment and across an auditorium the next phrase. Screeching like a banshee and growling like a caged tiger, this is the song I’ll be putting on every road tripping mix I make for the next five years, minimum.
Oh, but wait – Then there is the tour-de-force that IS Anna-Christina. With song writing chops that, for me, rival those of the great Tori Amos, she is certain to be a force to be reckoned with. The heart and soul of Lilygun, her vocals help push these songs to places the music can’t quite reach. At times, she sings sweet and lilting like a gospel choir, and moments later, I expect her to be kicking my door in and barking orders. I liken her, with great admiration, to the amazing Cassandra Ford (The Vincent Black Shadow). This is not to mention the fact that she is one of the most gorgeous bad-ass rocker women I’ve ever seen (side note: Anna-Christina; A.C. If I may – On the odd chance you are into slightly pudgy music reviewer types in their early thirties with more useless musical knowledge than will ever be practical and who live halfway across the world… look me up! *gives wink and gun*).
The closing song on this record is “Diamonds” – which is so fittingly melodic and almost anthem-like it could be placed nowhere else on the disc. Such a great album the whole way through, I can’t imagine a better way to wind it down. If I ever get the chance to see them live, you better believe I will. Where Lilygun goes from here is anyone’s guess, but I believe they can write their own ticket with offerings of this quality. It deserves to be heard, so do yourself a favor and crank this one…loud. [Kevin 2012]
It’s hard to believe that this is the debut Lilygun album because it’s so self-assured. It stands up to repeated listening, and even rewards it. The band has released 2 singles so far this year and both feature on this first album, but more about both of those later. This is a set of songs written by the band’s dynamic and charismatic singer, Anna-Christina, demonstrating such variety that it’s difficult to pin the sound down to 1 genre; there are elements of punk, metal, riot grrrl, Goth and even hints of early English folk. We’ve had it on constant repeat here at Riot Towers for a couple of weeks now and it still sounds great.
I love it when an album blows you away from the first notes of the first song and the Lilygun debut does exactly that. “Sunlight Dream” (an “Inception” reference, perhaps) blasts in with drums, big grungy guitar chords and howling lead guitar slipping into nice clean, strummed chords underpinned by drums and a rhythmic bass figure before a multi-tracked vocal refrain leads up to the first verse; and that’s just the intro. This is an album that rewards you for listening to the tracks in the right order. The songs are all h4 enough to stand alone, but hearing them in sequence creates a clear narrative flow. The first pair of songs introduces us to the powerless outsider with “Peace of Mind” building from a tribal drum pattern through a couple of verses to a blazing chorus and a typically blistering guitar solo. “My Ways” moves the narrative on to insight into the loner’s situation before “Moonlight” starts to reveal a glimmer of a positive outcome. “Excuses” is the first sign of a reaction to the loner’s situation and a clear message about taking responsibility for our actions. “Conversations” takes a step backwards into negative emotions before the 2 songs which bring the album and the narrative to a positive conclusion.
“Scum” was the first song from the album to be released this year and it’s a huge anthem, playing to the group’s strengths with quiet verses interspersed with a huge chorus which is built around a massive descending guitar run and the song’s big message :”There’s no need to be a victim of negativity”. The final song “Diamonds” brings the journey to its end with the beginning of a relationship and another very clear lyrical message: “Don’t let your past decide who you are”. It’s all very well telling a good story but the music has to enhance the story as well and this is where Lilygun have absolutely aced it. You won’t find a one-dimensional or one-idea song here; they all fizz with musical ideas and great playing. The arrangements squeeze every last drop out of a fairly traditional line-up of 2 guitars, bass and drums (with the odd touch of strings and multi-tracked vocals) and create a huge dynamic range across the album.I know it’s unfair to single out any particular contribution but James Ford’s guitar work is really powerful and took me back to the early days of Skunk Anansie and the brilliant Ace. This is a great first album from an original and inventive band and I haven’t heard anything else this year to surpass this in terms of raw power and dynamic range; they’ve been on the horizon for a while now and this should be the breakthrough. This is a great album. Buy the CD and listen to all the tracks in the right order; I can’t wait to see them live. [Allan McKay 2012]
Regulars on the London underground rock/goth scene it seems, Lilygun are gaining a reputation on the live circuit and have a growing and loyal following. The brainchild of singer/songwriter Anna-Christina, they have suffered several line up changes and various problems on the journey to the release of this, their debut album, a follow up to the 'Peace Of Mind' EP released in 2010. Co-produced by Anna and drummer Belle Star, Bass duties are handled by Aaron John and Glunk Rock fans may be interested to note that Rachel Stamp's David Ryder Prangley lovingly strokes the bass strings on this album as well.
Things begin well with the opening metallic strains of 'Sunlight Dream', walls of distortion, a screeching guitar note here and there, nice background vocals and the unmistakable tones of Anna-Christina from the off. Siouxsie & The Banshees spring to mind immediately, and the sweet, driving bass and subtle gothic undertones layered here for all to discover make a promising mix. Anna's classical/theatre roots rear their head throughout, and with a short but sweet guitar solo it's a fine song and a great opener. It's clear that Lilygun are one of those bands that create atmospheric music, so it's interesting to note that next track 'Peace Of Mind' reminds me of early '90s crusties Back To The Planet, driving indie beats replace gothic atmospherics here, and maybe Lilygun are not one trick ponies after all.
The atmospheric 'Moonlight' rides along on effect ridden guitars and keeps the goth vibes flowing; now this is a great sounding tune, pure laid back, gothic and full of depth. It does take the listener places for sure. Nice vocal harmonies here, rich and warm subtle guitars gently caress their way through the melody, it builds beautifully to a natural conclusion and it feels like a good trip has been taken. The more rock orientated 'Excuses' riffs it up a touch and 'Conversations' is an interesting track with its weird almost tribal vocal eccentricities in the verse and its more metallic riffage make for a more diverse track that keeps the interest levels set at high. Closer 'Diamonds' is an atmospheric groove, again in a Siouxsie vein it flows nicely with great layered vocal harmonies and is a fitting end to an album that sure has its moments.
Overall it's a fairly laid back album, hints of Goth royalty like The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees are prevalent throughout. Effect ridden guitars litter the album like bats in a belfry, heaps of delay, chorus and the addition of classical styled vocals give a pure gothic feel for sure. Well written and played, it deals in atmospheric gothic tuneage, there are hints of aggression but the distortion is kept minimal. The name 'Lilygun' suggests a contrast between beauty and darkness, or light and shade. Lilygun make a promising start with their debut album, we always like a bit of Goth here at Uber Rock so let's hope they can raise the bar and show us what Lilygun are really capable of. [Ben Hughes 2012]
This month, London rock band Lilygun released their debut self-titled album. Having won the hearts of their home town through live appearances, radio play and magazine reviews, including Time Out and Devolution Magazine, their debut album follows a string of singles and their EP 'Peace of Mind'. Lilygun was formed by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Anna-Christina, whose mix of a classical music and theatrical background creates a unique blend of aggressive, edgy rock. Drummer Belle Star joined the band in 2008, and in 2011 guitarist James Ford completed the current line-up and work on the album began. In late 2005, just before the launch of the band, Anna-Christina suffered a brain haemorrhage which left her fighting for her life and subsequently put her whole future on hold. She says "People told me I wouldn't be able to continue my career as a musician but I was determined to prove them wrong", and after an amazing recovery and years of hard work to get her life back on track, Lilygun finally became the entity she had hoped for.
While the band's name began as just two words put together, it has grown with the band, taking on meaning and becoming a representation of the contradictions within the band and their music - beauty and darkness, aggression and fragility. The album's first song, 'Sunlight Dream', demonstrates this with its classic rock opening fading into something far more melodic, modern and edgy. Anna-Christina's voice is both unique and unexpected, pulling a gentle melody over an instrumental that draws from a mix of classical music, modern punk and 80s stadium rock.
It's difficult to put your finger on exactly what Lilygun is, with gentle ballads like 'My Ways' and 'Moonlight' cropping up in between heavier rock and punk anthems. They certainly live up to Anna-Christina's desire to create "a band free from rules, fashion trends and the common trappings of most rock bands. Something different." While to some the album may seem a little incohesive, this gathering together of the different facets of Lilygun is their charm, their selling point. It's about changing the rules halfway through, not just song by song, but within the tracks themselves. Lilygun is a band that like to pull the rug out from under their listeners' feet. The album only hints at the intensity this band could create live; it's a tease, a promise of better things, an album that will leave you on the hunt for tickets to see them play live. Lilygun know how to lead their listeners, drawing them intimately close before hitting them hard with a punk riff or two. Lilygun's debut album is an insight into just what they can do, varied and exciting, it clearly sets them up as one to watch. [Keller 2012]
ROCK REVIEWS 24/7
Their melodic, hard rock sound often comes across as dark but for the most part Lilygun are producing fairly decent quality rock music with some surprises across the way. The heavy hitting Sunlight Dream starts things off before the groove tinged Peace of Mind weaves it’s way in and out of itself; twisting and turning as it creates a powerful yet harmonic melody. Anna-Christina’s vocals are haunting at times but it’s used at an advantage – especially on the almost operatic My Ways, which is spine chilling. Excuses packs a punch while Conversations brings back some of the groove tinged bass riffs that Lilygun proved they were so good at. However, Lilygun have really saved the best until last – previously released Scum still sounds awesome and while Diamonds may not have as much power behind it as it’s predecessor, it sees the record out on a high note. Lilygun have made a mixed bag of a record – there’s no in-between here. [Michael Heming 2012]
I have known about this London based quartet for a wee while now, and I have been updated over the past months by their front girl Anna-Christina regards single releases etc. And I tell you what, Anna-Christina is not just a pretty face fronting a rock band, she also writes the music, co produces it (with drummer Belle Star - ex Lahannya) and plays guitar. This band is going places, no doubt about it and I h4ly suggest that radio stations and festival organisers start checking them out now! The band deliver 8 tracks of Rock music that brims with attitude and melody. Just check out the chorus on the awesome 'Peace of Mind' - great song. 'My Way' has a kinda Snow Patrol feel to it, while the track and second single 'Moonlight' is a slow to mid paced number, with a quiet verse building up to a crescendo in the chorus (most of the tracks here adopt this style), and is another great tune. Actually, this is one of my faves in-fact together with 'Conversations' and first single 'Scum'.
To be honest though, I like everything that is on this album - enough said. To summarise, Lilygun is a guitar based Rock Band with an awesome vocalist that is deserving of one's attention. And I must add that Anna-Christina is also a very courageous lass, when she triumphed over tragedy after her life was almost cut short, when suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage at the end of 2005. This record is well recommended from the Ravenheart team here at the towers in Kidderminster when it gets released on 27th August, but firstly, why not visit their Facebook here. [Dave 2012]
GLOBAL METAL APOCALYPSE
Billed to be the next big rock act coming from the streets of London, this is Lilygun with their sensational debut album 'Lilygun'. Playing straight-edge rock with enough attitude to rock anyone's socks, the female-fronted quartet explode with the sounds of Alice In Chains, The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins in tow, there is no reason to why this band should not make and break the barriers and perhaps land themselves on national radio. With this valiant effort, we could very see them becoming a potential household name at festivals like Download, it's just a matter of time and you will never waste any time in checking this lot out, this is going to be big. [9.5 Rhys Stevenson 2012]
Moonlight Single Reviews
(Released on Zeff Music 30/4/12)
Drawing influence from the likes of life, love, hate, politics, religion and alcohol, this promises to be a band you can’t afford to miss! They chucked us their track Moonlight, to see what we thought of things. There’s something haunting about the opening of Moonlight, matching the title of the track in the initial sound as the soft vocals sooth over you, the backing music grows and the feeling of depth increases. Sounding like a hybrid of modern and old school rock, the depth which these guys have achieved is quite frankly astonishing, crafting a sound which is both soothing and powerful, mighty and somehow intricate – it’s a mix which is going to pull you in from the off. Throwing in elements to keep the track alive from synth to distorted guitar lines, it’s a constant barrage of different approaches throughout this track, all working together to form the over all sound and not allowing you a moment to question why – not that you need to. Honestly, I fail to come up with anything that I would change about this track, it’s perfect as far as I can make out……it’s just one of those tracks that immediately stands out as one which you know you’re going to like.
I remember being about 13 years old, cycling home in the dark and listening to Guns N Roses Estranged. There’s a moment on that track where the guitars take on an atmospheric tone and everything seems to calm and fade around you, almost enveloping you in serenity and making you feel that all that matters is you, the music, and what you can see – that’s what this track does. Lilygun have managed to craft a sound which combines rock and ambience, hard and soft, good and evil almost – and made it work. If there’s one band you go on to check out this week then make it these guys, as I can promise you’ll go back to them time and time again. [Dave Nicholls 2012]
OK, I’ll start with the facts. “Moonlight” is the second single from the upcoming debut Lilygun album and it’s out this week. The band, fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna-Christina, has been building up a loyal following on the London live circuit and it sounds like they’re ready to reach a wider audience. It’s not easy to categorise Lilygun; there are a lot of diverse elements in the mix and they don’t really fit easily into any scene, so I’ll just try to tell you a bit about the song. “Moonlight” opens with clinically clean guitar arpeggios followed by equally shiny single overlaid guitar notes, then a breathy, ethereal vocal. From here onwards, the verse builds steadily towards a chorus underpinned by the dirtiest, most distorted guitar sound this side of Swedish death metal; and then back to the clean sound again for the next verse.
It would be easy to fall into goth-by-numbers territory with this formula; the difference here is that it’s a great song and a very powerful vocal performance from Anna-Christina. The song goes through another couple of cycles (echoing the cycles of the moon?) before winding down with a smattering of picked guitar notes reverberating into the distance. As a single, “Moonlight” works; it’s dynamic and melodic and when it’s over you want to hear it again. As a taster for the album, again, it works perfectly. After hearing this, I can’t wait to hear the album and the live shows are looking like a pretty good bet as well. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can watch and listen for yourself here “Moonlight” and find out more about the band here Lilygun. Enjoy. [Allan McKay 2012]
Lilygun almost didn’t happen. Their singer and guitarist Anna-Christina had a brain haemorrhage at the tail end of 2005, and was lucky to survive. At one point she was told she would be unable to make music again. Thankfully Anna-Christina, however, made a full recovery, and first formed Lilygun as far back as 2007. Since then the London-based hard rock band has had several false starts, releasing two singles and an EP, but being hampered by personnel problems and changes. While the position of bass player remains a revolving door, Lilygun’s line-up has now stabilised to include Belle, who has held the position of drummer and percussionist since 2008, and lead guitarist James Ford who joined the group last year.
The group’s first single in their new line-up, ‘Scum’, which came out in January, showed off a band of astonishing vitality. ‘Scum’, in which the operatic-voiced Anna-Christina cajoled a ground down friend not to give up on himself (“There is no need to be a victim of negativity”), adopted the “quiet/loud” sound beloved of so many noisy guitar bands. The loud parts, all grinding guitars and thunderous vocals, proved that here was a band that could rock hard with the best of them. It was, however, the quieter parts that were in many ways more interesting.
They revealed that here also was a group of real subtlety, featuring interplay between Anna-Christina and Ford, and closing with a gorgeous long fade-out in which their guitars softly, seductively spiralled around each other. With an album promised for later that year, ‘Moonlight’, the line-up’s second single, builds on that subtlety. At over five minutes long, a minute longer than ‘Scum’, it is slower to build up towards a crescendo. “Don’t pretend that you don’t see the difference/Don’t pretend that you don’t notice,” Anna-Christina drawls dreamily, maybe looking back at the Lilygun of then and the Lilygun of now, Meanwhile we get more of those stunning guitar effects, alluringly echoing and shimmering ever upwards. Lilygun have with this second single in this line-up released one of the most beautiful-sounding singles of the year. [John Clarkson 2012]
Having released their second single called 'Moonlight', the band is working on releasing their debut EP later this year itself! Listening to the song, it begins with a soothing plucking intro backed by some really pleasant vocals that sets your mood right in the 'midnight' mode where you put on your headphones and raise the volume by a leap to get immersed in the track completely. The song then progresses to a hard, heavy-distorted tone that somewhere reminded me of Lacuna Coil too for a while. Anna's vocals in the chorus are fabulous and well synchronised with the rhythm and percussions, though I'm a bit not used to a very heavy distortion, but James did a good job with it. The last part of the track got the perfect ending with some nice, enchanting guitar harmonics that I was expecting as well. Summing up, the track is sure true to its title, 'Moonlight', with commendable vocals, and a good, consistent rhythm, and the atmosphere they are able to create via their music, which was the best part for me indeed! Just wait until they get their album out later this year guys, I'm personally curious enough to see what more Lilygun has in store for us! [BeArockr.in 2012]
ROCK REVIEWS 24/7
Following the release of their last single, Scum, Lilygun are back with their brand new single called Moonlight. Just like Scum, Moonlight packs big choruses with a melodic background to acquire a fantastic sound. Vocalist Anna-Christina’s voice is almost operatic and she is pitch perfect – while Moonlight may not have the same bark as Scum, it certainly does the job in packing a bit of a punch. While Scum dominates Moonlight, both tracks are merely just a taster of Lilygun’s forthcoming debut record which will be released sometime this year and will surely make for an interesting listen. For fans of Melissa auf der Maur. [Michael Heming 2012]
The single 'Moonlight' is an amazing song with enormous cross over potential that screams mainstream radio airplay. A great slow to mid paced rock song - good stuff! For anybody that likes their rock very commercial and accessible, this could be right up your alleyway. I am eager to hear more! [Dave 2012]
Scum Single Reviews
(Released on Zeff Music 30/1/12)
Though leaning heavily on familiar hard rock precepts, Lilygun infuses it with their own gentle subtlety, atmospheric intros, breaks and minimalistic but inveigling instrumental touches which inject highly appealing individuality, lifting this from pastiche, inviting further exploration. [Chumki 2012]
It has some good instrumental work with Belle’s drumming standing out the most whilst the vocals from Anne-Christina are h4 and nice sounding. [Trigger 2012]
Not So Scummy. We first come across Lilygun back in 2008 and thought at the time that, although maybe a little rough around the edges, they had something about them that made us sit up and listen. Fast forward 4 years and this London band have matured; their sound is more polished thanks to a lot of hard work and they now seem ready to break the chains holding them back and take on the world. Scum is the first single to be released from their debut album due out later this year and from this example it is going to be one fine album. Anna-Christina's vocals combine beautifully between the haunting eerie verses and the powerful rockier chorus. The guitars play their part too in adding to that haunting feel before finally being let lose. The outro keeps the same vibe as the verses and is a bit longer than expected but full credit to Lilygun for doing it that way, it would have been so easy to follow the over used formula of ending it quicker or on a high but they have stuck to their guns and made it work from start to finish. [Neil Richardson 2012]
ROCK REVIEWS 24/7
London rockers Lilygun are releasing their brand new single “Scum” later this month. But before they unleash it into the big wide world, Rock Reviews 24/7 has had a listen and can confirm: it’s great! Yep, Scum is a fine piece of music indeed. A stand out lyric is Don’t let the scum kill you, don’t let ‘em get you down. Why? Well, for those who live in London where Lilygun hail from, you’ll realise it’s full of scum. Probably not what songwriter Anna-Christina meant, but it still works nonetheless. But on a much more global scale as well as a local one! So if you want your rock music with sincerity and passion, then look no further than Scum. Taking inspiration from grunge bands but with a whole new twist, Lilygun are doing things their way and the scum aren’t getting them down! [Michael Heming 2012]
The single 'Scum' may suggest some hardcore/punk track however, but that cannot be further from the truth. This is actually a very good and rather commercial slow to mid paced rock track, that picks up the pace in the chorus before slowing it down in the verse. If this style of music is what Anna-Christina has adopted, then she and her band could well be going places and deserve too aswell. 'Scum' gets released end of January and will be worth checking out. [Dave Smith 2012]
The conception of the creative mind of frontwoman Anna Christina, Lilygun's debut EP, 'Peace Of Mind', offers up hard-hitting riffs in-between rhythmic beats and it is the interesting bass guitar and drum work that produces something a little more tribal in its vibe. Loathed to use the term "alt-rock" to describe a band, I have to admit it was the first thing that popped into my head after first hearing the CD. Recorded at Britannia Row Studios, there is an element of the "psych" in here that said studio made famous through Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'. However, this EP produces a much more grunge-dominated sound.
Listening to the songs on this EP takes me back to the 90s, most particularly with the Smashing Pumpkins - a band I didn't like the first time around but have grown on me since. And in that vein I suspect that Lilygun's offering is also a grower. I can just about hear the title song 'Peace Of Mind' being played in my old local rock boozer, the "Squaddie", mixed in with the smell of cigarettes and beer, somewhere between Sisters Of Mercy's 'Temple Of Love' and the Pumpkins' 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings'. The final track 'My Ways' begins in a Nirvana-esque manner and happily completes the vision.
This EP is certainly different to many of the things I've heard recently, but maybe less so when compared with those sounds of my post-school, dole days. The verses often lack some extra depth before they are saved by well-crafted, melodic choruses. The occasional flatness could just be a matter of production and time, and it will be interesting to see how this band develops. It will be worth catching a Lilygun show as there is certainly something stirring, and I imagine these songs take on an extra dimension with a live delivery. [Craggy 2010]
Anna-Christina, the main singer, guitarist and principal song writer, has a revolving door of musicians to help her create her blend of post goth and rock. A notable player in the current ensemble, is the legendary session drummer Robin Guy who has worked with bands like Rachel Stamp, Antiproduct and Faith No More. After some high profile support slots at some of the top underground venues, they have released this EP comprised of three songs: 'Conversations', 'My Ways' and 'Peace Of Mind' (two of which have already been released as singles). The individual components that make up each song are solid and tight. [Rez Collingwood 2010]
Conversations Single Reviews
I really like the verses on this single, with vocals from the Shirley Manson school of singing and some fine rhythmic riffing, the choruses are pretty powerful too – with hints of rock, goth & funk packing a meaty punch sonically… [Feb 2010]
The name "Lilygun" encapsulates this band's spirit, they are about softness and beauty in the face of adversity and struggle. This is a continuing theme for the band and stems from Anna-Christina's negative life experiences. This EP is for 'Conversations', a brutally honest piece of musicianship curated by Anna-Christina.
Their sound retains a kind of dreary and sombre elements with grunge-like guitars and down tempo beats. The vocals are quite dreary in the sense that they are low in pitch and in a minor key and this helps the sound to stay firmly wedged in its own miserable beauty. The whole track reeks of a kind of self-made sound that is tremendously organic and this lends itself well to the form of this bands music. The sound is deeply alternative and sombre and because of this it has a Goth feel to it, but the grunge influences of the likes of Smashing Pumpkins are probably a more fitting assessment. [Sarah Angell Jan 2010]
Intelligent Rock - Lilygun release their second single ‘Conversations’ following up the highly impressive debut ‘Diamonds’ with yet more imaginative, intelligent rocking music. The variation of styles on the latest release just makes it a joy to listen to and at just under five minutes long, you are still begging for more. Anna-Christina vocal talents are a real pleasure to listen to, matching the music style changes perfectly. As is the guitar solo three minutes in, timed perfectly to launch the remaining two minutes into a full on rocking song, where Piranha, the other main stay of Lilygun, is let loose on his bass.
Not many artists manage to produce something as accomplished as ‘Conversations’ and that is including the legendary bands too. Let’s hope there is a lot more to come from this London band, two songs released so far is not enough, bands like this deserve to have all the backing possible. With some successful gigs already in the capital and some more dates between now and the end of the year, surely 2010 will see Lilygun grow in to bigger and better things. [Neil Richardson Sept 2009]
Diamonds Single Reviews
CHURCH OF GIRL
Brutal, Beautiful, Truth - Lilygun are a 4-piece guitar-centered alternative rock band from London. Formed by Anna-Christina (songwriter, guitars, piano, vocals), the other three members of the band that is causing a bit of a stir on the London live scene are Adam Busiakiewicz (guitars, vocals), Piranha (bass, vocals) and Dominic (drums). Lilygun has a captivatingly unique sound - easily transitioning from melodic to gritty, aggressive to soft and heavy to fragile. Anna-Christina's aggressively honest lyrics are delivered artfully and the band work beautifully together to make a unique and compelling style of alternative rock.
The new track is a masterpiece and on first listen, plays out like a rock opera short feature. Lilygun are inventive in their approach, authentically talented, and by uniquely incorporating their wide range of influences and backgrounds, they have developed a sound that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners (Tool - PJ Harvey). If this single is an indication of where the band is growing, we simply can't wait to hear what comes next. We love Lilygun's glamorous grunge-metal style and can't wait for more from these amazing and edgy artists. [Mary Ann Naylor 2008]
Singer, guitarist and songwriter Anna-Christina shows of her vocal prowess through out the song from the slow starting then building up to the heavier chorus. Intelligent, thoughtful lyrics do help to make this become a nice song to listen to you when you are in the need for a bit of mood swinging indie takes on grunge metal music. There is even a hint of Smashing Pumpkins mid way through the song. With Piranha on bass and Adam Busiakewicz on guitars backing the impressive Anna-Christina up it sounds like Lilygun could easily make a name for themselves and not just in the capital. The song is well written and all fits perfectly together, so much so it is very easy to picture this song being used for an emotional moment from a movie. [Neil Richardson June 2008]
While originality is admittedly hard to come by these days, unsigned London outfit Lilygun have no such problems. 'Diamonds' is five minutes of densely layered heavy rock that succeeds in breaking free from the pack without lapsing into indulgent territory. [Mitch Bain June 2008]
With the rock scene a little bare at the moment, and the two extremes of alternative indie and metal seeming to dominate the live scene, its rare to find some good old rock, particularly female fronted. But here we are; from London emerges pure alternative rock band Lilygun with debut single “Diamonds” - a haunting and atmospheric track with tinny drums and subtle guitar building suspense on the intro. The sound builds, complemented by some cool lyrics “Don’t let your past decide who you are to be” ending in a final dramatic crescendo of a chorus with a striking reeling ethnic guitar riff and a satisfyingly weighty distorted guitar bit. [Sarah Rayner July 2008]
STICK NEWS INTERNATIONAL
Indie meets Grunge complete with powerful vocals makes Diamonds sparkle. 
Grunge-melancholy with some nice harmonies, perfect for those who paint their bedrooms black!