Jon Steinman (guitar/vocals), Bruce Katsu (guitar/vocals), Jim “Cookie” Cooke (bass/vocals), Tony “Mad Tony” Brown (drums/percussion) and Dave Gorozdos (keys/vocals) are The Lifters. The band recently released Ride With Me which contains six songs.
This is a rock band and primarily I found their sound to stem from the ’60s and '70s. There are elements of Americana, blues and more. It sounded like American rock through and through. I often felt like I was at an outdoor festival waiting to get corn on the cob while I was listening to the music. Suffice it to say this band would sound perfect on your playlist between Blue Öyster Cult and Steely Dan.
The EP starts with “One Leg Left” and the Americana vibe was so noticeable to me. It’s a borderline perfect song to have at a BBQ. It’s a warm song and was easy to enjoy as soon as I heard it. The hooks, the instrumentation and vocal melody all worked and was excited to hear what was next.
“Madman” was a percussive heavy song. It’s one of those songs where the lead vocalist sings and it sounds like the audience should sing right after. I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about when you hear it. The feeling was anthemic and liked that the band decided to change things up from the first song but not too much.
“Other Shoe” is just blue collar rock in the spirit of the song “Takin' Care of Business.” The band pulls it off and it sounds like it was transported from a couple decades ago. “Pain & Misery” was a highlight to my ears and was a little darker. There are elements of surf and spaghetti western and it sounded like it could be in a Quentin Tarantino film. “Rescue Me” and “Ride With Me” goes back into a warm American classic rock sound.
I’ve been a musician for about twenty-five years and have also been writing about music for about the last ten. One thing that has become obvious to me is that the music that musicians listen to in their teenage years and early twenties is the music they will make later on in life. I don’t know how old this band is but would be willing to bet this is the type of music they grow up on. The sound is just so on the nose from a particular era and the band stays pure to that sound. There wasn’t anything in the music that felt like this was a 2.0 version but more of a tip of the hat to a sound that defined a generation.
With that in mind I feel like the appeal of the music is obvious. If you enjoy a warm, American classic rock sound then you will love this band. The band are near flawless in their execution and go through the rock n' roll handbook of moves that people have come to love and embrace. Recommended.
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