After two years of blood, sweat, and tears, local rock band Playground Etiquette has released “La Marionette,” a solid alternative art-rock album that conjures the angst of worldly illusions, such as powerlessness and control, empowering the listener to break free of the internal and external influences that bind us all to the man. The album is as eclectic as its members. The product is obviously rock, but it’s hard to group Playground Etiquette into just one genre. With classical, jazz, and rock influences infused throughout the eight tracks, this record is sure to speak volumes to audiences everywhere.
The ethereal voice of lead singer Athena Hiotis begs the listener to “wake up, if you dare,” introducing the metaphorical marionette as a symbol of one’s own struggle to obtain identity in a world that seeks to maintain control and suffocate the individual. Infectious and melodic tracks draw upon Joseph Campbell’s theory of a hero’s journey, capturing the longing and sentiment of one who must depart from the home base in search of a new discovery.
Combining classical violin with dissonant chords in songs such as “Like Moths” and “Orpheus”, Playground Etiquette captures a sound that is reminiscent of Evanescence with the angst of an Alanis Morissette album.
The band consists of Athena Hiotis (vocals, guitar, keys), Tim Lockemy (guitar, vocals), Nicholas Kosmas (bass, vocals), Lisa Ehrenspeck (violin, vocals), and Cody Cook (drums, vocals). Members of the band identify as allies within the LGBT community. Lead singer Hiotis has performed several times on the Baltimore Pride stage, and violinist Ehrenspeck has been a long time supporter and performer in the D.C. LGBT music scene.
On Saturday, January 18, Playground Etiquette teamed up with area rock bands like Rites of Ash and Dive to perform a sold out show at Metro Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. Attendees were rewarded with a free copy of the CD, which is currently available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon. If you missed the sold-out show, Playground Etiquette is set to grace the stage of Velvet Lounge in Washington, D.C., on February 7. For more information on the band and its upcoming performances, click here.