Shoot Out The Lights, or SOTL, is a rock and roll band formed here in Cincinnati, Ohio circa 2009. Josh Muddiman is on raspy throaty vocals and guitar, Elaina “Laney” McCormick on vocals and keys, Matt “Mook” McCormick is lead guitar, Joshua Howard bass and vocals, and Alan Topolski on drums round out this band that at its simplest form is just Rock and Roll. This is their second album and it was self- produced at All Nighter Studio by Tommy Capel.
SOTL brings soulfulness to their style of Rock and Roll. However as the listener you can truly just get lost in the music. The melodies are crisp and clean while the vocals and lyrics are well formed. Through this album, they bring their styles all to the forefront. These fine folks in SOTL are bringing a refreshing style of Rock and Roll to Cincinnati. They bring you into their space… the place where they formulate and construct straight to the teeth rock songs.
The members of SOTL all share in the songwriting process. Something that Joshua Howard and Josh Muddiman both told me under a night sky about two months ago, “Making this a shared experience in making music with everyone involved. Lightening the load and making this more like a family.” While recording this album, they wanted to switch it up a bit. “Mook” was moved over to lead guitar and Josh Howard over to bass. It was a move by their own account, “that may have brought demise to other bands but instead opened the door for more thunderous and melodic bass grooves and fiery guitar riffs.” By doing this you can hear a band that is coming into their own. The growth of the band is evident on this album.
I was graced with the pleasure of getting an advanced listen of the album. These folks stay true to their roots with the Rock and Roll, but also, have songs that stay true to the jazz, blues, and country roots of Cincinnati, their hometown. I often did find myself getting lost in these songs. Whether it was lyrically, the melodies, or just the combination of the two they melded their roots and styles into about an hour long of nine tracks. The tracks flow just like our river, or with the weather about to warm up. This is an album great for taking on your next road trip.
Some may say rock is dead, but that is just a matter of perspective. With SOTL this is definitely not the case. Their brand of rock brings it home. They amp it up at the live show, and it quite simply is straight up rock and roll. They bring it back where it came from and are showing us where it can go. Rock and Roll is many things, and can be many things, but SOTL has found their own way of doing it. They have found within themselves how they can make it work, and it most certainly does.
Their new album “Let’s Get Lost” is releasing on March 14th with a release party at Northside Tavern here in Cincinnati, Ohio.