Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
The View From The Bottom
Written by: PP on 14/09/2012 05:03:19
Hey, you guys still remember Lit? The synonymous band with summer anthems from like a decade ago that were among the pioneers for power pop (that later turned into pop punk)? No? Well, to be fair, they haven't released anything since 2004's "Lit", and they haven't exactly been active in the gig circuit either. They're back in 2012 though with a brand new album - their fifth full length - called "The View From The Bottom". Whether that's a reference to their career or not remains to be seen, but I'll go ahead and assume that's the case.
So if you're at all like me, you've come here expecting more songs like "Addicted", "My Own Worst Enemy" from their breakthrough albums "A Place In The Sun" (1999) and "Atomic" (2001). While not exactly classics, they were solid examples of alternative rock moving into a brighter and bouncier direction, alongside landmark releases from Fenix TX, American Hi-Fi, SR-71, Sugar Ray and a bunch of other like-minded bands that have since then disappeared from the mainstream spotlight. And if you're like me, you'll likely be sorely disappointed at a much more mature and grown up version of Lit. Yes, they still sound more or less like they used to back in the day, but they lack the youthful energy and songs that made you want to jump up-and-down like there's no tomorrow. Opening track "C'mon" and it's successor "You Tonight" are a far cry from their high-energy pop punk leaning efforts, and then you have a track like "Partner In Crime", which is essentially a Papa Roach song from their "Metamorphosis" album.
Luckily, there are a couple of bright spots like "Same Shit, Different Drink", which brings back fresh nostalgia of the best bouncy songs from the change of the millennia by all the bands mentioned before. Yeah okay, it sounds completely retarded in 2012, considering the whole college rock sound has all but died out, but it's a catchy little track nonetheless.
Where the album really suffers through is in the extremely bland and mainstream-sounding ballads like "Miss You Gone" and "Here's To Us", where Lit sounds like every other band doing these type of songs. "The Broken" likewise is a cheap shot at trying to make a radio hit but people can see through these kind of songs these days, at least I like to think that. Aside from a few highlights, all "The View From The Bottom" does is to make me question the necessity of bringing Lit back to life eight years later when they crashed and burned out of relevancy. It's a shallow pop rock record that may appeal to some, but I expect our readers to find this completely transparent.
Download: You Tonight, Same Shit Different Drink, Nothing's Free
For the fans of: Eve 6, Sugar Ray, Fenix TX, American Hi-Fi, Papa Roach
Release date 19.06.2012