It’s been a long time since Lit‘s last album and they’ve been through dark times in the years in-between, but The View From The Bottom is a defiant and resolute return to action from the Popoff brothers and Co.
In 2009, drummer Allen Shellenberger died of cancer, the kind of tragic blow that can finish some bands altogether. Lit, however, paid their respects to their fallen comrade and hired a new drummer (and then an extra guitarist), clearly determined that the best way to honour him was to carry on doing what they do. And that spirit is all over this new album.
It had already been five years since their last release when Shellenberger died, a long time considering their previous three releases had come in a five year period. So it’s now been eight years, making The View From The Bottom long overdue, but it sounds like they’ve never been away. Opening Bon Jovi-esque stomper C’Mon echoes the sentiments of the ‘glasses raised’ front cover, making for a rousing call to arms in memory of their lost friend.
After that, it’s mostly business as usual, with morbidity blown away by raucous party anthems and the kind of sly humour in their lyrics that we first saw on breakthrough second album A Day In The Sun. First single You Tonight isn’t particularly subtle or clever, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun, and that’s something that has always been the most important part of Lit’s sound.
Same Shit, Different Drink is pretty much along the same lines, while Miss You Gone might sound like a reference to Shellenberger, but its actually Popoff telling a returning girlfriend that he liked her better when they were broken up. The Broken is defiance personified, telling ‘Them’ that Lit (and, of course their audience) are sick of being messed around but staying resolute because you can’t break the broken.
And so it continues in that vein, with Butch Walker‘s beefy production making no apologies for going for glossy hooks rather than edgy punk snarl. Lit were never about that in the first place, of course, always one of those bands who make music for sunny days, with songs about girls and drinking. These good-time boys have taken an almighty blow in the last three years, but they’ve come back stronger and determined to pay tribute in the best way they know how. And The View From The Bottom does just that.