Formed of Multi-instrumentalist John Rackowski and vocalist Matt Smith calling themselves Litost (pronounced “lee-toast”) are a duo who recorded and released “Colony” in April with 1700 miles between them and not meeting in person until it was completed. They’ve put their heads together to create a covers EP that takes in artists from as far back in history as the 1960s and puts on each track their own spin.
Taking The Hollies 1960s hit “Bus Stop” and turning it into a Queens Of The Stone Age track with Matt Smith doing a Josh Homme styled desert rock vocal and the guitars offering a satisfying “Rated R” chug, you almost expect it to burst into “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” at any point. Instead, Litost keep it subtly restrained and add some neat lead touches. Keeping the same guitar tones for the heavier parts of En Vogue cover “Don’t Let Go” keeps the flow to the EP neat and concise without making it sound disjointed, something that often adversely affects covers albums where bands don’t make the songs their own enough. Smith showcases some impressive vocal range and the 1996 RnB track is given Metal legs with will thought out and structured riffs. Collective Soul cover “The World I Know” makes for a nice mid EP Melodic moment while paying tribute to the Stockbridge Georgia rock band. It’s radio rock friendly sound is another opportunity for Smith to shine and he does exactly that over riffs beefed up from the original. The Idles ofMarch song “Vehicle” is perhaps the most eclectic choice of the collection of songs chosen by the duo and Rackowski keeps faith with the original while adding in some well crafted crunch. The leads are particularly well worked and the drum sound is clean, crisp and clear. A blistering breakdown section and an clean roar are welcome surprises amongst the chugging riffs. 2pac cover “California Love” belongs on the next edition of the Fearless Records series Punk Goes Pop. It riffs hard while blending a trio of vocal styles with uncleans, a clean and a fine rap flow all getting their chance to shine. The leads have more freedom and there is a sense of fun that shines through [8/10]