Live Review: Strictly Elizabeth at The Mint, L.A.

Material: With an indie-rock, post-punk vibe, Strictly Elizbeth performed a 30-minute set at The Mint, sharing music from their 2020 album, Shelter In Place, and 2021’s Contemporary Construction. The band gave hints of alternative rock edges and pop layering over poignant lyrics around life, love and longing. From the retro hipster opener of “Seduction Trash” to the more mellow sounds of “Wake Up Happy” and “Watch the Clockwork,” the group delivered a solid, cohesive performance.

Musicianship: The four band members unveiled a unified blend of music, demonstrating a solid balance of sound and strong musicianship. This was especially true of drummer, Marc Slutsky’s fabulous timing, passionate stylings, and smooth transition work in “Seduction Trash” and “Western Soul”—the latter offering a tasty drum and electric guitar psychedelic rock moment. “You and Free” had comfortable, “feel-good” harmonies with great backing vocals from guitarist, Michael Martinsson. Frontperson, Jessica Elizabeth shared steady vocal lines and riffs and closing track, “Baby C’Mon,” was an upbeat pop-rock number that helped to highlight Elizabeth’s tremendous breath control.

Performance: Playing to a bubbly, jovial crowd, the room produced a friendly, positive spirit. While there were some intermittent pitch issues vocally, “Wake Up Happy” had some beautiful vocal harmonies and a cool laidback rock vibe, and new single, “Coretta,” revealed more group vocal and guitar line combinations. “Dogs and Traps” had a fun guitar and bass line unison intro and “You and Free” was the best vocally overall. Elizabeth was good at interacting with the crowd and had a comfortable presence on stage.

Summary: With their mix of sound from post-punk to rock, elements of alternative sound and beautiful, vulnerable lyricism in Elizabeth’s songwriting, Strictly Elizabeth create a unified blend of musical expression. The eclectic rock quartet mold a warm, easy atmosphere with their comfortable, steady rock sound and share layers of insightful instrospection in their lyrics—wrapped in a unique, dynamic package. Strictly Elizabeth creates an honest space for a relaxed and upbeat evening out with friends.

Contact: Mike Gormley, lapdev4@gmail.com

Web: strictlyelizabeth.com

Players: Jessica Elizabeth, lead vocals, acoustic guitar; Shane Soloski, bass; Michael Martinsson, electric guitar, backing vocals; Marc Slutsky, drums