When a band spans a long time they can be harder to review because there is just so much there. Members of Lit, a rock band from Fullerton, California, have been connected musically since 1986. Even if they didn't become well-known until 1999 there is a lot there. Because of that this post is going to be a bit random, hitting on reactions to different songs.
"No Turning Back" - This was unfamiliar to me, but it is a track on Hey That's What I Call Sludge, and it surprised me because I had never thought of Lit as sludge. I wondered if it could be a mistake, because there is also this Techno-Dub thing where every track sounds the same that got included under their Spotify, and I am quite sure it is not Lit.
Two things about the Sludge though. One is that a lot of the bands on it are not traditionally sludge, and it could be fun just to do sometimes. Also, as I was thinking about the band stylistically, it came to mind that Lit makes really effective use of fuzz and feedback without overdoing it. I appreciate that.
"Zip-Lock" - On that note, while the guitars do sometimes get harder and thicker, there's a good balance in their range, sometimes getting softer (especially "She Don't Know") and more melodic, and incorporating other influences. "Zip-Lock" may be the best example of a song construction that shows their different sides, but you can hear traces of techno on the intro to "Quicksand", a little country on "The Wall", and quite a bit of funk on "Happy".
"Miserable" - I like the switch they do here, where it is completely reasonable to think that he is going to sing "You make me complete" which sounds romantic (if a little codependent), and then it ends up being "You make me completely miserable." While thematically the song isn't super upbeat, it nonetheless does show that the band is clever, and has a sense of humor. You could guess that from the music videos, but it comes up in the lyrics too.
"The Broken" - This was the song that hit me the most personally this time around. I had heard it before, but hadn't really listened a lot, and checking it out again, it is powerful.
Some of that may be timing. This week for me has largely been about getting my book (where a musician dies) up, and my head is still very much in that, and in the continuation as his band and his sister deal with it. It may be that, because of this, the song for me pulled up this grief over drummer Allen Shellenberger's death, and the loss there but also the need to go on.
Mentally I know that the song doesn't have to be only about that, and that in some ways "The Wall" and "Here's To Us" seem to be more specifically about him. It is also true that the specific circumstances that go into the writing of a song do not have to perfectly match your life for there to be an emotional connection. I say the song is strong and powerful, and deserves repeated listens.
Overall the key message of reviewing Lit is that they have a lot to offer, and it's good that they are still around. And I want them to come to Portland.