Words – Lyz Mancini

Filligar’s new album Hexagon captures the essence of a perfect Sunday. The serendipitous ride of day drinking in a dive bar followed by a raucous party in a sweaty basement somewhere followed by a satisfying fall into one’s own bed, alone (or perhaps with someone) with the air conditioner humming softly and perhaps some personal introspection. It’s comforting in the way an old perfectly worn-in pair of jeans you find in your closet are, and a great anthem album for a sticky, buzz-filled summer.
The quartet includes brothers Johnny, Teddy, and Pete Matthias and their childhood friend Casey Gibson. Filligar hails originally from Chicago, has been around for over 13 years (that’s 91 in band years), and sound like people I might have made out with four (okay, maybe two) years ago. Their first alums were recorded under the name Flipside, perhaps why their moniker doesn’t ring any bells. The newly-named quartet took their time with this one, sporadically laying down tracks in LA and Chicago amidst a full-blown tour. You can almost tell that the way they created this collection was unconventional; the energy is consistently high and the tone is clear, not like a bunch of unshowered dudes stuck in a recording studio for weeks at a time chugging Red Bull and chainsmoking. They sound fresh as floppy-haired daisies, almost like recording was a welcome oasis from performing.

Hexagon begins softly, sunnily, with expert piano and angrily heartbroken lyrics on “New Local” (“I’m like an animal staring at a barbed-wire fence”). “Atlas” is upbeat and jumpy, sexily voiced and really got me through the most sluggish hour of a Monday afternoon. “Pacific Time” is sweet and lilting, and the final track is a jolt to your system to leave you high and eager to return to the beginning again.

Filligar seems to be touring everywhere but New York this summer, but a quick Youtube search confirms that they would be killer live. Perhaps a trip to the south to keep the summer going.

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