EP REVIEW: Lithium Seven - Last Light
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock, Power Pop
Sounds Like: Go Go Dolls, Gin Blossoms, Matchbox 20
Technical Grade: 7/10
Bright sounding mix, Lacks low end frequency.
4 piece band from Dayton Ohio “Lithium Seven” release their latest EP entitled Last Light in 2011. Band members include: Vocalists and guitarists Shawn and Soren Gormley, multi-instrumentalist Jim Armstrong (vocals, bass, mandolin, keyboards, guitar) and drummer Jon Carroll.
The CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Last Light.” This song methodically serves up delicate guitar ambience against driving rock rhythm with impressive vocal harmonies from Gormley and company. Track 2 “Stolen Car” shifts gears a bit with it's driving rock rhythm, Gin Blossomy type guitars segments, & heartfelt vocal melody from Gormley. Track 3 “Unfasten” serves up an upbeat bluesy-rock piece with clever lyrical content, impressive vocal accents and serves up an impressive grove. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Go Go Dolls, Gin Blossoms, Matchbox 20 and perhaps a dash of John Cafferty. This EP makes a pretty solid first impression. I would classify this music as power pop with a slight aftertaste of alternative rock. The songs themselves are addictive, & thought provoking complete with passionate – heartfelt subject matter. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write, & play there parts well. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice impressive things like impressive solo and slide guitar, mandolin, keyboard accents and well placed harmonies. Gormley’s voice works well across the board & fills the sonic space peacefully & unobtrusively. He has solid instincts vocally & knows how to take a few vocal risks here and there when the music calls for it. From my personal favorite ‘Stolen Car” to striking “Butterfly Effect” this EP has something for just about everyone. The EP ends with breathtaking "Hemmingway" the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Overall this is a very bright sounding production. Drums sound extremely thin on some tracks, slightly fuller on others. I wish there was more low end punch on some of the songs – especially within the confines of the rhythm section (kick drum & bass). The mix has the vocals clearly in the forefront of the spectrum – but as a result the rhythm section pays a price being pushed down. This EP is in dire need of some low end frequency. Over time this overly saturated high end sound will take a major toll on you - especially at really loud volume levels. In my opinion this mixing style is clearly tailored to maximize Radio Marketability.
Last Light by Lithium Seven is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are extremely heartfelt, passionate & from the heart. This band has proven themselves with this EP – now it’s time for a full length release later this Summer.