"Tell me again how we're easily forgettable/so formulaic and way too simple to be/at all original, yea so we've heard/It's time to keep your mouth shut/while we show you how to rock-n-roll."
The first few lines from this album, a perfect capture of Hit The Lights and all that this album stands for. I've listened to those lyrics again and again recently, as I've replayed this album almost non-stop. Hit The Lights might not be the most known band, but are causing a fuss thanks to this beauty. Reminicent of 2005's Chroma
by fellow pop-punkers Cartel, the record is made up of pounding and fast pop-punk anthems, each one with infectious melodies and great vocals that make them so enjoyable to listen to. It might be the truth that they are formulaic, simple and unoriginal. But they know this, and after it all, they just get down to playing some amazing pop-punk tunes. The opening song "The Call Out (You Are The Dishes)" might be this band's response to unwelcome and arrogant lookdowns on pop-punk bands such as themselves, but get into it and it's an upbeat track with both guitarists complimenting each other and bringing some rhythm and melody to the song.
The following tracks keep up this standard, but "Bodybag" completely oblitorates that level they made and takes it to another level. Most probably my favourite song on the album, it feels like older New Found Glory material. While in the verses one of the guitarists plays just one chord over and over, it fits so well with the melody of the other and the drum fills. The chorus is the catchiest part though, and I find myself singing "You're gonna need a bodybag!" upon listening to it often. One of the things that lifts this album for me is the vocals. Colin's voice isn't too high or low, and sounds very strong along with the music. He shouts out lyrics, sings them brilliantly and captures each lyric so well. The album continues to display a strong sense of melody throughout, with songs like "Save Your Breath" and "It's All The Rage" showing not only good musicianship, but well-crafted production as well. Matt Squire is famous among the pop-punk scene, producing albums from bands such as Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. This is no different, and he captures the band's energy brilliantly, using feedback at just the right time and getting a clean and polished sound down.
It doesn't come without it's setbacks though. Well, no album does, but it's hard to create pop-punk albums with a constant flow of hit after hit. This Is A Stick Up...Don't Make It A Murder
tends to lose it's energy around the middle, with songs like "Sincerely Yours" and "One Hundred Times" slowing it down a little. I suppose it gives a bit of variety, with the latter song turning out to be a heartfelt electric ballad similar to The Academy Is..., but I think they could've been better nearer the end. It doesn't ruin the album though, and picks up immediately as "It's All The Rage" makes use of the band's almost endless amount of catchy hooks and fills. After that are the equally as fun songs "Speakers Blown" and "Until We Get Caught", both of which include memorable chorus. However, they end on a huge note in the form of "Make A Run for It", one of the catchiest songs on the album which includes a slower bridge, gang vocals and lyrics which stick in your head, and as they shout "We've got this down a science baby/We don't make mistakes we don't intend to make", you kinda have to agree with them. It's only about 38 minutes long, but they have made the most out of poppy melodies and infectious hooks.
Hit The Lights are obviously not going to be changing the face of music with this album. But where critics before might have laughed at them for being bland and unoriginal, they have embraced that and said "This is what we sound like, get used to it!". At times this album is witty and some of the hooks are quite original for a pop-punk record as listener-friendly as this. "These Backs Were Made For Stabbing" and "Bodybag" are 2 great exampels of that in my opinion. The point is that this is a fun record which pop-punk fans will be able to enjoy. There is nothing depressing or sad about this album, and by the time you will have heard the fade-out in the final track, you'll be smiling.
"The Call Out (You Are The Dishes)"
"It's All The Rage"
"Make A Run For It"
[url]http://www.purevolume.com/hitthelights[/url] (Songs from review: "Three Oh Nine", "Bodybag")