Oct 28, 2011 Live Review by Live Limelight
Illicitizen has a great sound that isn’t heard often anymore...I did hear a distinct Talking Heads sound, with Elvis Costello thrown in and some Joe Jackson...A great look all around as well as a great sound...have a creative approach and a wonderful interplay between them and their instruments. The bass playing is fantastic, keeping the songs going yet great with Maria playing octaves and driving along runs. Eric’s guitar solos are sharp and melodic...got their own sound and are really an enjoyable show to see as well as hear. I look forward to hearing anything they’ve recorded as well as seeing them perform again. If you like your early 80's New Wave with a modern twist, this is definitely the band for you...sound is definitely a pop/folk/indie sound that reminds me of the Talking Heads, crossed with Elvis Costello...They Might Be Giants...Crash Test Dummies...was very impressed with the intricate bass lines that Maria threw all over the place. She had a song or two that reminded me of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers bass lines, and she definitely holds her own during the song creating a very fine underlying mesh of sound for Eric to work with. Eric does a few “talky” songs, which are not high on my list of things I enjoy in a song. They are minimal though, as most of the time he’s singing and he has a very good vocal range. Eric... is very charismatic on stage, silly, funny, and has a great time performing. I also enjoyed that lyrically he often uses more intelligent words...you’ve got to check these guys out. They just may surprise you with just how much talent they bring to the stage.
Pop Stalinist Review of Illicitizen - s/t
Charlotte, North Carolina's Illicitizen are Eric Cavanaugh and Maria Zaccaro and their first release, self-titled, is an eclectic mix of fluent blues guitar playing and soft, rhythmic synths and programming to back it up. The two-piece have combined their musical skills expertly to create this great first album, a real testament to their hard work and tireless effort...
Cavanaugh's vocal style echoes David Byrne from his Talking Heads days and a young Jarvis Cocker, slow, quiet yet attention-grabbing and melodic while Zaccaro's steady bass line, similar to that of Joy Division, compliments it wonderfully. The guitar blues are not revolutionary but the tight playing of Cavanaugh is implicative of an accomplished player and the programming is indicative of an imaginative and well-versed band.
33 Magazine Live and Record Review Apr 2, 2011
By day, the duo composed of Eric Cavanaugh and Maria Zaccaro are average, well-meaning, law-abiding citizens, coloring within the lines that society set for them. By night, they don their Chuck Taylors and latex skirts, breaking all the musical rules as indie group Illicitizen. The couple's rebellion against the tyranny of the Top 40 has earned them the praise of critics and a legion of fans from Boston to Savannah. Yet there's more to them than horn rimmed glasses and PBRs.
Live Preview on Knoxivi.com Nov 17, 2011
Illicitizen of Charlotte, N.C. is the duo of Eric Cavanaugh and Maria Zaccaro, who make New Wave electronica they’re quick to admit in their bio earns them comparison to the Talking Heads. But wait, there’s more! Their quirky songs also nod to modern hip-hop and ‘50s slow-dance-in-the-gym songs.
WHEN: 10 p.m. today.
WHERE: Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St.
WHY: The duo celebrates the release of its self-titled 17-track debut, which highlights demonstrative vocalist Cavanaugh, whose dramatic delivery echoes David Byrne in his Talking Heads days and Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano. On the' eclectic disk, the pair swerves from cabaret-folk to arty post-punk to jangly minor chord alt-pop without losing its, identity or its sense of humor on tracks like "Two Eggs Any Style," "Therapy" and "Olives and Almonds."
It's not easy to try and categorize the music of Illicitizen – hints of '80s rock, dark mod, indie rock, blues, punk, folk – combined with the fact no two songs sound the same musically. "Detached" reminded me of the tone of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" – though I couldn't decide if it was closer to Donovan or Butthole Surfers interpretation. The music retains a stripped-down, garage feeling to it, without sounding cheap or "high school." "New New One" had the vibe of a song from the 1950s with some punk riffs thrown over the top of it. "Two Eggs Any Style" uses a bit of a reggae groove in it...The band finds a way to be unique in its approach while combining familiar elements – giving them a foothold of their own on the music scene. Illicitizen will hold its CD release party at Snug Harbor on June 4...