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Death By Television

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Album Review

Originally issued on Lookout Records in 1999, the Lillingtons' pop-punk classic Death by Television has been remastered by Mass Giorgini (who produced the original album) for this 2006 reissue through San Francisco-based Red Scare. Burnt out from covering girls and heartbreak on their earlier work, the Lillingtons switch things up for this super-charged record, thematically basing their songs around sci-fi movies and UFO type phenomenon — that's right, their rollicking energy is now channeled into songs where aliens are taking over the world and Neil Armstrong is taking bananas away from moon-bound Apemen. The guys are pretty straightforward in their Ramones-styled approach; a handful of different chord progressions, a quick beat, and an unwavering vocal delivery are all that's needed to deliver 14 invigorating songs that aren't anywhere near as tedious as that description might suggest on paper. The Wyoming crew's muscular pop-punk sits alongside underground faves like Screeching Weasel and the Queers, but with a much more lighthearted and less sarcastic line of attack. Death by Television has been considered by many as not only the Lillingtons' best work, but also one of the strongest pop-punk releases to come out of the '90s. But regardless of that well-deserved distinction, most people probably missed this gem the first time around. So now is your chance at redemption with that guy with the Ben Weasel shrine in his room — just be sure to thank the nice folks at Red Scare for your newfound street cred as you're rocking out in your car.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant Latter Day Punk

All the paranoia and absurdity of the nuclear age filtered through the mind of a child who absorbed too many 60's comic books and sci-fi B movies, served up on an old school punk inspired 4/4 hop. The Lillingtons summon the true punk spirt of the original humor and power that made  bands like the Ramones, Dead Boys, Dictators, Devo, and the Sex Pistols so endearing to the sub-genius crowd. Granted, there's nothing original here, sound-wise, but the lyrics are clever and amusing. "I Saw The Apeman (On The Moon)" can stand up to "Beat On The Brat" or The Dickies'"Manny, Moe, and Jack" or any other classic punk musings. "You're The Only One" is one of my all-time favorites. Unfortunately, the Lillingtons second album was an uninspired waste. But "Death By Television" is a rare gem in a sea of punk posers.

Fun and Catchy

In the spirit of the Ramones, this album is just plain out fun and catchy pop punk smothered with science fiction.

Quite possibly the best punk album of the nineties.

Absolutely a must-have classic album. The songs are influenced by greats like the Ramones, Screeching Weasel and the Misfits, but they have an original quality that goes beyond parody. Fat Mike from NOFX called this one of the best pop punk records of all time, and Screeching Weasel's Ben Weasel liked it enough to release it on his old label, Panic Button. Honestly, this is as good as anything Fat Mike or Ben Weasel have done themselves, and they've done some great stuff. The songs initially might initially seem simple, but they're deceptive. There are subtleties and surprises abound. The production is great,with loud, thick guitars. Kody Templeman has such a smooth, melodic voice that lends itself well to the small town-meets-sci fi lyrics. I don't think the other Lillingtons releases offered on iTunes are quite as good (too bad the great Clearview material isn't offered), but you can't lose with this one. If you've heard it, you're most likely a huge fan. If you don't like it, this is one of those situations where I really question your taste in music. The re-release has a spiffy new remastering job as well.


Formed: 1996 in Newcastle, WY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Lillingtons blasted their way out of the sleepy cowtown of Newcastle, WY, in 1996 high off the influence of spirited bands like the Ramones, Screeching Weasel, and the Queers. Comprised of Kody Templeman (vocals/guitar), Cory Laurence (bass), and Tim O'Hara aka Timmy V (drums), the band also later included Zachary Rawhouser (guitar). Self-releasing their first album, 1996's Shit Out of Luck, the Lillingtons initially coupled their direct pop-punk approach with adolescent-styled lyrics about girls...
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