September EP


Orangestar Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If Lilith Fair proved anything, it's this: female-led (or all-female) bands are to be taken very seriously.

Of course, I've known this for some time; I've long been a fan of such artists like Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan and Liz Phair. While I might not have counted myself among their fans, I could appreciate what people like Meredith Brooks and Shirley Manson of Garbage were accomplishing. But the long-term effects of Lilith Fair are now being felt, as more bands of this ilk are coming forward to be heard; if only some people had taken the time to listen a long while ago.

Take the Decatur, Georgia-based trio Lift, for example. Their recent release my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 September EP shows the maturity and musical development that many of the artists who presently enjoy airplay have, only they're still struggling to make a name for themselves. Chances are that's a statistic that's going to change real soon.

The group - vocalist/guitarist Molly Bancroft, bassist Meimi Sato and drummer Simone Simonton - have three things going for them right out of the gate. First, they are master songsmiths; there is not a bad track on this mini-album. Second, their harmonies are ethereal, if maybe a tad underutilized. (Then again, maybe that's done on purpose.) Third - and this is the key element for me - this music rocks.

The richness of the music on September EP makes it seem like there's more than three people creating the sounds that burst forth from your speakers. From the opening notes of "Even If (It Is Love)," it's evident that Lift is a band that is destined for greatness, based on their songwriting and performance. Similarly, "Let It Out" is a track that, if the right people got their hands on it, screams "top 40 hit" to the heavens.

And it's not that Lift pigeonholes themselves as a light-pop band. Songs like "Need To Know" and "Mesmerize" show that the group is willing to take some musical chances to put forth an emotion that takes center stage over the rhythm. Of course, all of that's in vain without good songwriting... and Lift never forgets that, backing up these emotions with powerful tracks.

Of course, I think you know what my complaint is going to be right now... that's right, this disc is too damned short. Normally, I'm saying that I can't formulate a fair opinion on a band based on 20 minutes of music. In Lift's case, 20 minutes is just too little music, judging from the quality of the songs that did make it onto this disc. I would have been a happy camper if this had been a full-length disc.

Still, September EP is a taste of a band that's going to leave you wanting a lot more than just the teaser. Lift is a band that, if there's any justice in this business, will get their big break very soon... and I'm putting my money on them succeeding.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Orangestar Records, and is used for informational purposes only.