It has felt like a life time since Lit released their 1999 sophomore break-out effort “A Place In The Sun,” which hosted such great 90′s rock gems as “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Zip-Lock.” It’s platinum success was overshadowed however by the bands tragic loss of their drummer Allen Shellenberger to a brain tumor. As the years went by, the band released 2001′s “Atomic” as well as the group’s inoffensive self-titled record, as they eventually went on a seemingly never-ending hiatus. That was until Lit brought in drummer Nathan Walker and new guitarist Ryan Gillmor, and began writing and recording anew for their latest full-length “The View From The Bottom.” Seeing that it’s been almost eight years since their previous record, I was curious to see if they had decided to break and reset the mold for their music, or if making catchy rock for the radio masses was the only thing that kept the band around in the first place.
While I didn’t think Lit would be able to reconstruct my love for their catchy 90′s rock (and almost didn’t want them to), “The View From The Bottom” creates its own personality, still lighthearted and almost goofy, but still different than previous efforts. As seen on the album’s opening track “C’Mon,” which sounds like a song someone would put in a guys-night-out beer commercial with lyrics like “C’mon hey c’mon, let’s start messing around. It’s all about tonight, it’s all about right here and right now” and a coordinated verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus structure. The bands familiar tongue-in-cheek lyrics and bouncy guitars return for “You Tonight,” which adds a funny pause in its chorus, “The party ain’t over, but its time to go. Let’s slip out the back and I’ll drive you home. We’ll lock up the bedroom and leave on the lights, I want you to see every thing, when I …… you tonight.”
You can’t fault the record for lacking subject matter surely as the album title and many of its song titles/lyrics reference or bend metaphors around sipping on a glass of what ever liquor calls your name. This both solidifies the effort’s message of carefree drinking and fraternal bonding, but often stalls on tracks that sound like they were written for another band – ie. the poppy, effects-laden song “Miss You Gone” and the piano-guided rock ballad, “The Wall.” Lit‘s has almost followed in Sugar Ray‘s footsteps, making music that sounds like it belongs on a top 40 pop billboard list rather than what the group began as, rock — this is partly because the band has most likely lost its identity from being on hiatus for so many years.
So if you’ve liked Lit in the past or you just enjoy their inoffensive rock that will make rounds on the radio then “The View From The Bottom” is worth the first spin. There are plenty of catchy hooks and memorable lyrics which give buoyancy, but too many listens and you start to notice the country-infused, “The Broken,” and the wonky electronica backed “Miss You Gone” enough to want to skip over this effort’s messy structure. [Staff]
Score: 3 (out of 5)
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Record Label: Megaforce Records
RIYL: Everclear, Eve 6, Stroke 9
2. You Tonight
3. Same Shit, Different Drink
4. Miss You Gone
5. The Broken
6. She Don’t Know
7. Nothing’s Free
8. You Did It
9. Partner In Crime
10. Here’s To Us
11. The Wall
12. Right This Time
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