Ohio-based pop-punkers, Hit the Lights just dropped the rousing follow-up EP to 2015’s excellent, Summer Bones. Aptly-titled Just To Get Through To You, the 6-track EP offers a unique culmination of reworked, retooled, and revisited songs from their previous works in an effort to blaze a trail following a new creative direction.
Released May 6, courtesy of Pure Noise Records, the EP opens with an invigorating tone-setter: “Blasphemy, Myself and I.” Trading-in the ever-so-popular sound-niche of crunchy-guitar riffs, whaling-solos, and beat-through-the-ground drums with the celestial effervescence of acoustic guitars complementing layered vocal-harmonies, it’s quite clear this isn’t the same-ole punk-outfit Lima, Ohio once churned-out in the mid-oughts.
Stripped-back to its soul-baring persona, Just To Get Through To You maintains the angst-y edge fans have grown to love, but now showcases a far more personal-appeal. Frontman and lead-vocalist, Nick Thompson stated in an interview that this project was “something we made for the fans we have- just a little appreciation recording we felt people would enjoy while awaiting the next record.”
Opting to eighty-six all-together the complex electronic-percussion distinctively illustrated on 2008’s Skip School, Start Fight’s “Drop The Girl” for a choice-driven interplay of acoustic-strumming, backing-vocals, and even the occasional synth-lead hand-clapping, the center of Hit the Light’s lyrical-message suddenly becomes far more terse and focused than on previous renditions of the cut.
As the EP progresses, the familiar-hit: “Fucked Up Kids” appears to reveal itself in a slower-motion motif, inviting relatable introspection and realization to its already rebellious premise. While most of the cuts seemingly follow in the footsteps of the highlight opening track, “Blasphemy, Myself, and I,” the new-charmer, “Lighthouse” starts its route under the familiar-veil of string-orchestration and cello-esque flourishes juxtaposed against the whims of acoustic-guitar glory and Thompson’s own vocal punk-pinache, only to find itself amping-up the volume to the tune of fuzzy-laden electric-guitars and shotgun-brimmed drum-slams into a fond-farewell. This is Hit the Lights under a whole new imagination-workshop.
You can catch them on what is left of the Pure Noise Records Tour
May 10th – Nashville, TN @ The End
May 12th – Baltimore, MD
May 13th – Freehold, NJ
May 14th – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
May 15th – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
May 16th – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
May 17th – Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
May 18th – Buffalo, NY @ Studio (Waiting Room)
May 19th – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose
May 20th – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
May 21st – Lakewood, OH @ Mahalls
Review by: Nathan Porter