In more than five years of running GigRadar, we’ve never previously covered any band from Greece. But exciting Crete rock outfit Prince of Lilies are an impressive way to buck that particular trend.
The band, who hail from the largest of the Greek islands, have honed an infectious sound that transports us back to the good old days of 90s garage rock and grunge. And the quartet, who describe themselves as “A simple rock band of two guys and two girls in the band who met in Crete while surfing,” summarise their sound as being “abrasive, honest and simple.”
And they add: “It’s as real as it gets. That’s the honest truth. There’s no trying to be commercial, or trying to sound like anyone on purpose: it’s just us and it’s full-on powerful, passionate, loud and raw rock and roll.”
Our latest taste of this is Prince of Lilies’ impressive recently released debut album VENT, which was produced by the legendary Steve Albini, who also produced Nirvana’s In Utero and worked with the likes of Pixes and Stooges. Even more impressively, the band recorded the entire album live and in one take on analog tape.
Our first taste of the band was the album’s fourth track The Year I Broke, which opens up with stabbing guitar and reverby sounds that drop into a funky little opening riff. Big engaging vocals come in before drawn-out chorus vocals “Now the days seem so much longer, Now that I’ve found you, And the nights seem more familiar, In the year that I broke” supported by chords and driving drums. Check it out in the video here:
That’s followed by a personal favourite Smashing which, to use a bit of an old school English adjective, is “smashing.” It opens up with cool high-pitched guitars that drop into energetic guitar chords that give way to an engaging opening verse. The vocals intensify into a huge chorus of infectious vocals “I can’t believe all the things she said, I can’t believe that you’re not dead, I can’t believe all she stole from you, I can’t believe that I killed you,” which you can’t help but scream along with.
That gives way to more high-pitched guitars that drop into chugging chords, then the pace drops with a laid-back verse. But that doesn’t last long as it launches into another huge chorus then chunky guitars bring it to a close.
VENT is packed with 14 tracks of grungy goodness, including the funky, filthy, very Incesticide sounding opener Mid Life Crisis and excellent second track Come Back To Me. There’s also the delicious How Will I Know, along with lively tracks like I Want To Know, Find My Way, Black Ocean and penultimate track Rattle and Break.
The album also includes the band’s debut single Black and Blue that, fittingly, is about Kurt Cobain. It opens up with high-pitched guitars that drop into driving drums supporting faster guitars. An engaging opening verse feeds into a big catchy chorus “And I’d give my life for you, And I’d cut my arms for you.” The final verse features delicious higher pitched vocals “I cannot look out to that lonely road, I never, never meant to cause you pain,” before dropping into a final blast of the chorus. Check it out here:
On the album, the band told us: “We absolutely love the album and we wanna share it with others who appreciate true rock and roll art. You have to try and imagine that we recorded this album all live and in one take, except vocals which were done immediately after, in just two days at Electrical Audio studios in Chicago with Steve Albini.
“It was a magical session and thank goodness Steve is a master and captured it all on analog tape so perfectly. We chose Steve primarily because he made Nirvana’s In Utero, but also because he made Surfer Rosa by the Pixies. Those two albums were our biggest inspiration to record with him. And we’re glad we did.”
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Nirvana are one of Prince of Lilies’ biggest musical influences, along with the likes of Pixies, Jesus Lizard, Black Flag and Fugazi.
And on what inspires them to write music, the band explain: “For this album, most of the songs were written on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death in our garage where we used to rehearse. The songs were written out of necessity. Out of pure desperation and depression and rage. Unhappiness can sometimes create great artful expressions. VENT is that frustration and sadness in musical form.”
If you’re loving the ongoing grunge revival, then Prince of Lilies are very much a band that you need to get into your life. We’re loving the sound of VENT and absolutely recommend giving the whole album a listen.
You can follow Prince of Lilies on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp and Apple Music. And check out more new grunge from their awesome new label Grunge Pop Records.