90’s Score: 8.6
2020 Score: 7.7
I tell you, these fucking rearview’s are going to dig me an inescapable grave professionally. The year is once again 1999 (because why should I abandon this bit) and music TV channels are still a thing. Pop punk had an Alt Rock uncle that dressed the same as them but definitely looked like they shouldn’t be hanging around anybody that young looking. Their name was and still is Lit (though apparently they play country or some shit now?) out of Fullerton, California and they had just dropped an album that would help define frat parties in movies for a generation to come.
A Place In the Sun wasn’t just some record in this band’s career. To this day, it still stands as the placeholder that got this “cool kid” 90’s act their moment in the sun (wait a minute…you cheeky fucks) while sporting some of their most iconic hits. I was a wee lad then. The idea of listening to an entire record was preposterous but, boy oh boy, did their hits stay glued to my poorly powered brain. I’d love to regale you with tales of my dreams of bouncing around in music videos by giant pools in ridiculous outfits like these Orange County textbook rock studs, but I would be lying, mostly because I’ve purposely seared most of my childhood from my brain with the use of alcohol and self loathing BUT some substances just can’t scrub out a set of catchy fucking tunes. If there is one thing Lit is truly proficient at, its creating synthetic heroin in the form of a pop rock song.
Take the double platinum pop punk banger “My Own Worst Enemy,” for example. A potential one hit wonder (if it weren’t for the fact that this record some how sported three hits, all of which received more than their fair share of radio/television air time) so masterfully constructed if could easily have been mistaken for a plot to turn humanity into moronic beer guzzling fraternity cunts, capable of sparking a world war fought solely by means of 90’s mosh pit bouncing. Maybe movie drinking scene songs aren’t for you. Maybe you’re more about break up jams instead, to which the nonsensical anthemics of “Miserable” spoke to your core whilst incinerating the remainder of your ex’s memorabilia. Maybe you just dug “Zip-Lock” because why the fuck not, the point is these tunes were attractive in nature. They were catchy, the tones of every section felt unique and belonged purely to its own, recorded, mastered, and delivered in a sense that made you brain just go “yeah, this is inexplicably fun, gimme fucking more.”
Maybe you did get more of the rest of the record. Maybe the absolute rollercoaster of stylistic directions taken for tracks like “Down” or “Lovely Day,” or even “Happy” (which is really just one pickitup from being a fucking ska song) rung true for you, dear reader. But for me, this album is basically three tracks and all the clusterfuck of almost seamless genre smashing songs separating them (because why should we have more than one 311 in the world). Say what you want about this album, band, or even genre, the fact is they deal in deep seeded nostalgia and the whole point of taking this little trip back in time is to remind you of how much we all loved this shit for no apparent fucking reason other than they were fun. That and to teach you to raise your kids better because goddamn.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate