Review Summary: Hit The Lights have probably struck gold in terms of gaining fans, but there is nothing on Skip School, Start Fights that is important or in need of hearing.
Anymore it's almost useless to give any band that is involved pop-punk world a chance; the genre has become so cliche and full of the same old tricks that really none of it is all that impressive. Bands like Say Anything or Gatsby's American Dream are at least inventive, clever, and in terms of the latter, technically proficient. The wave of Myspace bands and those who are praised by AP all year long just seem to be praised due to the fact that it will appeal to the youth; ex. 1 - "Band A's new record is full of so many fun anthems and sugary pop-punk goodness that will leave you wanting to make this your party record for months on". Though there is hope in the genre itself, one must realize that the problem doesn't only exist here; the most redeeming, essential music will always get lost amongst the slew of mediocrity that plagues every area of music. Sadly, Hit The Lights are the "slew of mediocrity" themselves; they represent and showcase your typical pop-punk bands with little-to-no attempt to differ themselves from their peers.
Hit The Lights' performance on Skip School, Start Fights
is relentless and easily digestible in every way, drawing influence from bands like All Time Low and The Starting Line, but when speaking of a worthwhile listen, this doesn't necessarily qualify; while the record isn't a complete failure it is completely uninspired and does nothing to reinvent any type of sound that the genre has been gridlocked into. The negative aspects of the record are not a far-cry from the normal quarrels directed towards cookie-cutter groups either. It's obvious that Hit The Lights' are unable to detail the parts of the band that need detail and tend to focus too much on the gimmicks of the genre; if a part seems like there would normally be a group chant of some cliche, clever line, it's there. Octave and power chords are utilized to to death, and lead lines seem to only exist as an add-on if not serving as the intro. Basically, if you haven't heard this record you have still heard this record. From beginning to end, each song is fast-paced and bouncy, but it's all in vein of just being fun and catchy.
Skip School, Start Fights
obviously has a target audience, even if the aim is subconscious. Every song talks of the recklessness and romanticism of everyone's teenage years, and the music definitely reflects this. The lighthearted and simplistic approach that Hit The Lights throw down on each song parallels the lyricism:
"And we'll stay out all night
'Cause rest is for the dead
So we won't stop, no we won't stop
Raise your glass high
And let's throw out a toast to the road, where ever we go
We'll hold friends close and never want to go home"
Behind the lyrics above is a normal chord progression with vocal harmonies and some octave chords that wouldn't be awkward in any Fall Out Boy song. Musically, the record is what you would expect it to be; the guitars are palm-muted and catchy whereas the drums and bass only really compliment the former. None of the members of Hit The Lights are extraordinary, but they are catchy and cute and I guess that's good enough for your average 13 year old girl.
Hit The Lights have probably struck gold in terms of gaining fans, but there is nothing on Skip School, Start Fights
that is important or in need of hearing. Even with that being said, there is no doubt in my mind that this record's popularity will spread like wildfire. It's nothing groundbreaking at all, but admittedly it's pretty fun. Hit The Lights have crafted a summer record that will surely occupy the younger half our generations CD players for at least a few more months, but even in that case, it will be replaced by some other band that sounds just about the same in that same span of time.