The guitar nails a riff or chord progression. The bass and drums kick in. On top, the vocalist wails, moans and otherwise "sells" the song. It's been done a million times, so it all comes down to execution. That's where Orange County's Lit was a cut above. "Something To Someone" off their "Atomic" CD was a perfect
example of their strengths. A Punk/pop vibe with a searing guitar riff, hard charging, unrelenting drums and mournful yet catchy vocals.
Back in '90, the Popoff brothers, vocalist A. Jay and guitarist Jeremy, got together with bassist Kevin Baldes and drummer Allen Shellenberger. Being the top group in Fullerton, CA, may not seem like much but it was enough to get them a record deal. The Popoff brothers composed all the songs for the group's debut "Tripping The Light Fantastic."
'99 saw the follow-up, "Place In The Sun," featuring "Miserable." That led to a spot MTV's Spring Break in Cancun. The boys were on their way. Lit's third release "Atomic" came out in '01 and contained "Something To Someone."
Shellenberger was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May, 08 and underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Dozens of musicians donated hand-signed memorabilia and other items to a charity auction to benefit the ailing drummer. Artists who contributed collectibles included Nickelback, Linkin Park, Staind, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Offspring, Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Mick Jagger, Billy Idol, the Police's Stewart Copeland and ex-Doobie Brothers singer-keyboardist Michael McDonald.
Which is better? Release a great debut album then spend the rest of your career trying to match it or consistently improve your sound with each CD until you hit the mark? While groups rarely get to choose, Lit clearly is in the latter category. Debut album "Tripping The Light Fantastic" was an impressive start but hardly earth shaking.
Sophomore effort "Place In The Sun" honed the group's sound and delivered a fair amount of commercial success.
"Atomic" arriving in '01 stands as Lit's premier effort. Strong songs augmented by textured arrangements and omni-present hooks are capped by Popoff's angst vocals. Album highlights include "Something To Someone," "The Last Time Again" and the thrashing "Lipstick and Bruises." The album slacks off a bit, here and there, but overall it Rocks.