I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for pop-punk bangers. Man, nothing gets me more excited in this world (besides the possibility of World Peace). And as a kid, I wore out every New Found Glory CD I could buy. The slick power chords, sing-along melodies and teenage anthems are really what propelled me through my early childhood. A big part of that childhood, being from suburbia Ohio, was also the band Hit The Lights. Instead of trying to find their niche in the industry, they embraced the pop-punk emblem and wore it like a badge of honor; something that warmed my heart.
Yet, their last album Invicta was an unprecedented success musically; as it propelled them from being “just another pop-punk band” (not that that’s bad) to something…polarizing, something interesting, unique. The growth was distinct, incredible; really.
And so, Hit The Lights has announced they will be releasing a new album via Pure Noise sometime this fall (woo woo!) but while we wait, the lead singer of HTL, Nick Thompson, has created a new album via a side Project Thief Club and has recently released it for free! (Go get it now!) It is a refreshing batch of power-pop-punk that has shows off everything Nick has to offer, which is a quite a bit.
The lead single, “My Heavy” features the incredible Will Pugh (from Cartel) lending some pretty sick hooks and it really kicks ass. It’s fast and unforgiving, taking the listener in with forced arms and making them dance like a maniac.
And “Follow You” follows (see what i did there?) close behind with another guitar chugging orgy; one rife with head-banging melodies.
But it’s not just the bangers, it’s the musicality of the entire endeavor. As clearly Nick (and his Friends, some of them who are in HTL) have so much musical maturity that each song is refreshing and, well, beautiful. The lyrics are genuine, the guitar chugging is orgasmic, the chord progressions and the piano-driven melodies (I know, right!) are phenomenal.
Another note, Nick has a surprisingly nimble falsetto; pair that with his emotional chants and you’ve got one hell of a front man for these power-packed songs.
And yet, the influence of pop-punk is so evident, you could probably branch this album under the genre without any issues. There are the neighborhood/suburbia references, the relationship issues, the sing-a-long chants, the high-pitched key; maybe this is a new direction for pop-punk, a good one.
Really, the only problem with the album is that it’s not long enough.