Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ladies & gentlemen, THIS is Lit On The Flash

First and foremost, I want to apologize to Jake and Kerry for taking so long featuring them on my blog. I thought I was doing them a favor by waiting for the "right time" to post this. Then the West Market Festival in Bangor, ME happened yesterday and I came to the realization that Lit On The Flash is the GREATEST band I have ever seen. Just goes to show you that you should always follow your instincts, because 100% of the time, they're usually right! So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Lit On The Flash!

In their most current incarnation, Lit On The Flash is comprised of Jake Roche (lead vocals/guitar) and Kerry Ryan (drums/vocals). Not many duos have what it takes to pull off live what these two are capable of (luckily in Maine, we have another powerhouse duo, When Particles Collide, who I hope to introduce you to in a later post). Up until very recently, they were a three piece band with a nice bass accompaniment that smoothed out the rock edges. When I learned yesterday that they were now a duo, I worried that their sound wouldn't come across as powerfully as it has at past shows... WAS I WRONG!

A little background on this duo: Jake and Kerry have been playing together in bands for well over a decade now. Right out of high school in York, ME, they were members of the band Jeremiah Freed. I saw this reference on their bio page once and couldn't for the life of me remember why that band sounded so familiar to me. I didn't move to Maine until 2006 and didn't start really following LOTF until about a year and half ago, but couldn't shake that band name. One night while I was perusing iTunes, I finally remembered to look up Jeremiah Freed and that's when it dawned on me who they were! I instantly remembered their hit song "Again" from the early part of the 2000's and listening to it on an alt/rock station in Dallas. A week later, I finally found my box of cd's and low and behold, there were the Jeremiah Freed cd's that I bought all those years ago!

What interested me more than anything about LOTF and their days in Jeremiah Freed was a story that Jake told me one night after a show at the Dover Brickhouse in Dover, NH (yes, I have traveled great distances to see these guys live... and it's always worth every last mile!). Signed to a record deal by Universal Records right out of high school, they were ushered into the studio to record their first (and only album) with Universal and the single "Again" was released. Lots of airplay for that one single and one world-wind show in Houston, TX at EdgeFest, and the band was essentially shelved by Universal so that they wouldn't compete with another band signed to the same label, 3 Doors Down. No disrespect to 3 Doors Down, because I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, but I think Universal made a HUGE mistake by shelving Jeremiah Freed. Go find their albums and listen to them in order: Jeremiah Freed, Times Don't Change (EP) and then Slowburn. Hear the progression they made musically (Times Don't Change and Slowburn were both released as independents). I dare you to then compare what they were doing by the time they released Slowburn to anything that 3 Doors Down had done up to that point and see if you don't come to the same conclusion that I did! When you hear first hand accounts like this from artists that have been there, it makes you wonder how many other artists the record execs have shelved over the years that we were never given the choice to hear...

So lets flash forward to Jake and Kerry after Jeremiah Freed. They haven't played exculsively together over the course of the last decade plus. Various band gigs for Kerry along the east coast and time spent out west by Jake (along with a self released 2007 album titled "Just Survivin'") eventually brought them back home to Maine and Lit On The Flash was born. Their many years of playing bars and clubs has given their sound an edge that you don't hear on mainstram radio these days. Again, I'm not a critic and I'm not a so-called expert of all things music related. I will admit that my admiration for this band is completely biased, but that's why this is MY blog!

To fully appreciate what Lit On The Flash is capable of, go to their BandCamp page and download their debut album "Revolution Time", their 2 song EP (Black Triangle Blues and My Baby) and then their newest self-titled release "Lit On The Flash". What you end up with is a musical experience that you will not forget. Revolution Time makes you wonder if they didn't come along 4 or 5 decades too late. Black Triangle Blues and My Baby are two of the most raucous bar tunes I've ever heard, and their newest album, Lit On The Flash, hasn't left my cd player or iPod since it was released. Modern rock, hard rock, call it anything you want as long as you realize it's the hardest hitting rock and roll you'll come across anywhere! I would gladly put them up against ANY band currently on mainstream radio and smile wide when they blow them off of the stage!

Decide for yourself where they fit into today's music scene. If you want my opinion (and why else would you be here, right?), here it is... a huge part of me wishes that the one right person would read this blog and understand one fan's passion about this band and realize, like I do, that they belong on the worldwide stage. Music this incredible should be heard by EVERYONE! Then there's the part of me that likes them just where they are... playing small clubs in the Northeast that are an easy drive to, giving us more intimate sets, but more importantly giving us every single thing they've learned over the years each and every time out. And you want to know how important their music is to them? They're known to drive 7 hours to play for little more than a handful of people. THAT'S dedication!

Where else can you hear LOTF? They are currently on rotation on Wise Radio on the Live365 network (their link is just to the right of this post) as well as KrankIt Radio on the Tune-In network (link also to the left of this post). Locally, the following stations have both Revolution Time and Lit On The Flash, so call them relentlessly and request LOTF!

WCYY 94.3fm Portland, ME - (207) 792-WCYY
WMPG 90.1fm & 101.4gm Portland, ME - (207) 780-4909
WUNH 91.3fm Durham, NH - (603) 862-2222
WHEB 100.3fm Portsmouth, NH - (603) 668-0234
WSCA 106.1fm Portsmouth, NH - (603) 430-9722

The essential Lit On The Flash links:

Jake Roche ReverbNation (because Just Survivin' is just too good not to listen to!)

Now enough from me, get out there and discover Maine's best kept secret and my personal all-time favorite band, Lit On The Flash... you'll be glad you did!

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