Let Me Run - Meet Me at the Bottom (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Let Me Run

Meet Me at the Bottom (2009)


Coming from the town of New Brunswick, NJ, lofty expectations are already in place. If a band manages to gain a solid following, do a little touring and put out a record, they still have another mountain to climb. Comparisons to the city's new guard, such as the Gaslight Anthem, the Measure [SA] and Thursday, along with mainstays of the area like the Bouncing Souls, Lifetime and Ensign, would be hard to avoid. However, Let Me Run's combination of passionate vocals, bouncy rhythms and anthemic choruses permeate a sound that would make their New Jersey brethren proud.

The band's debut LP, Meet Me at the Bottom is chock full of songs consisting of the elements one would look for in a band in a plethora of genres. The lead track, "The Count of Monte Fisto" opens with vocalist Travis Omilian exclaiming "We can carry the weight, of this town on our backs tonight...," then exploding into a fury of guitars, tempo changes and well-executed choruses and gang vocals. Other select cuts include "Like a Fish," which again showcases lead guitarist Corey Perez's knack for one of many blazing "mini-solos" found throughout the record.

Your humble reviewer's favorite, "Live Grenades" is pretty much an indication of the band's maturity and talent in both songwriting and overall execution. Starting with a constant buildup into a driving verse, the track launches into an enormous chorus, fueled by a series of backing harmonies. The following mellow bridge again launches the song into the chorus, which is hard to not tap your foot and sing (or shout) along to. While certainly not a revolutionary song structure, it fits the band's style perfectly.

"I Don't Stomp, I Battle" is another gem found on Meet Me at the Bottom. Featuring backing vocals from the Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon on the final verse, bassist Louis Barbiere carries the track with a very solid rhythm. The song's only negative aspect is the abrupt appearance of Fallon at the end of the track. I'd have liked to see him on the prior choruses as well, or not at all.

The only other inconsistencies on the record really come from the band's prior drummer. Maybe it's just the tone of the drums on the recording, but they come off a little light and lacking the same punch that comes from the rest of the band. Regardless, that issue has been resolved with the addition of new drummer Trevor Reddell. I've seen the group (with Trevor) perform some of the songs live, and the rhythm section is definitely keeping Travis and Corey on their toes with harmony.

To conclude, every song on Meet Me at the Bottom sends the listener in a different direction, yet echoes a familiar vibe. Aside from the track sequence, which is a little bumpy, Let Me Run have released an album cementing their success in generating a style of their own. Not an easy task for a bunch of guys from Jersey. The first must-have album of 2009.