The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
Lit have come a long way since their formation in 1990. The first e.p ‘Five Smokin’ Tracks from Lit’ and the debut independent album ‘Tripping the Light Fantastic’-a huge hit with college radio- paved the way for the usual record label courting and resulted in the band signing with RCA who released the hugely successful ‘A Place in the Sun’. Possibly the bands finest release, it combined the bands punk roots with an altogether more commercial pop approach and spawned a clutch of radio hits including the signature hit ‘My Own Worst Enemy’. ‘Atomic’ followed, and with the band now clearly intent on moving away from the naivety of their roots the sound veered sharply into arena rock territory, resulting in a more mature yet ultimately less successful format.
Lit must be congratulated for their persistence and longevity, and having been dropped by RCA-preposterous when you consider the many other less talented bands still taking pride of place on the label roster-Lit decided to record and produce their own album, a trend that is continuing in an upward direction and intimates an eventual death knell for the major labels. This self-titled album has undoubtedly benefited from Lit’s experience within the music industry. The production is exquisite and every bit as sharp as its predecessor, and the band-self proclaimed Brat packers who enjoy more than the occasional drink-have grown-up (musically at least). This album is a triumph, not only in its conception-it clearly thumbs its nose at the corporate suits-but in its content. It is the most cohesive album to date and although it lacks the spontaneity of ‘Place…’ it shows a self-belief and a refusal to try and bottle a tried and tested formula. The crunching guitar riffs remain on the stadium rock anthem ‘Too Fast for a U Turn’ or the equally impressive ‘Needle and Thread’, whilst goodtime rock and roll is represented adequately by ‘Forever Begins Right Now’-a neat follow up to Atomic’s ‘Everything’s Cool’. Elsewhere the seismic ‘Hard to Find’ and the faultless ballad ‘Times Like This’ do more than make up the numbers on an album that is strong enough to re-announce Lit as serious contenders for a second coming during 2004. Excellent.