On "Never Said," the opening cut on the Media Fires' latest offering, Lit, Brian Quinn's vocals are ragged and raging. The lines about never getting it right that follow the tune's catchy opening riff pop with a kind of desperate energy. The mood is hypnotic, and it suffuses every one of Lit's five tracks. There's unflinching candor behind the lyrics of "Know You," a song that flips between urgent pleas and dogged insistence. When Quinn sings "It ain't right" on "Pass Us By," we believe him; his earnestness on "All This for You" is equally compelling. Such moments find admirable support in catchy, distorted guitar riffs, solid bass backup and unadorned drum work. The song structures might feel basic at times, and it's easy to hear the group's creative debt to alt pioneers of the '90s and more modern outfits like Kings of Leon. Still, there's promise and originality here, and a lot of that comes in lyrics that never shy away from brutal honesty.
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