Things aren’t great at the moment; you only have to turn on your TV or look at your Twitter feed to see that (eugh). So what better way to make ourselves feel better than a listen to an acoustic EP from a band from our younger years? Hit The Lights’ latest release Just To Get Through To You is an uplifting six track treat, perfect for reminiscing about the days you made your carefree memories – when the sun actually shone in the summer! – but with an observant, realistic edge.
You wouldn’t think a Ohioan band from the big ol’ U S of A could so succinctly sum up the state of affairs at the moment, but each track tells a story that the majority of us can understand. From the solidarity of Fucked Up Kids (“we’re all just fucked up kids and that’s okay”) to the heartbreak of Save Your Breath (“every time I think of it it makes me sick”) and the nostalgia of Summer Bones (“I used to know when I was home; I used to be invincible”) there’s always a tale to relate to.
Unsurprisingly, there’s not a huge variant of sound between tracks. A far cry from the band’s usual brand of no holds barred, blistering pop punk, Nick Thompson’s unmistakable vocals still take centre stage. It’s ten years since Bodybag was released (yep, we feel ancient too…) and the pop punk charm that won over allegiances of fans back in the day is still there. From tiny local venues to spots at Slam Dunk Festival, the it-shouldn’t-work-but-it-really-does combination of happy melodies and downbeat lyrics is still going strong.
The EP spans their back catalogue, picking out highlights that transition well acoustically. Drop The Girl, once a blistering pop punk cliché with a high school music video, becomes a soft, emotional plea. Save Your Breath, barely three minutes long, goes from a crowd jumping, grainy, early noughties anthem to a gentle sing-along.
Lighthouse, the love song that rounds off the record, is the only new song to be included alongside the old fan favourites, but it’s sentimental sappiness slots in nicely at the end. If the real life lyricism focused a little too much on the depressing, a reminder that love exists is bound to cheer you up. Developing to a hair-raising conclusion, the acoustic sound is cast aside for racing electric guitars and a little light drumming.
Just To Get Through To You might not inspire any new fans to start listening to the band, but for those of you wanting a new fix of Myspace-era pop punk, it’s a good place to start. Get ready for an emotional sing-along – and the inevitable memory of your questionable teenage years – but enjoy the relevance of all those lyrics you used to love, all those years later.
Standout Track: Fucked Up Kids
For Fans Of: Cartel, Mayday Parade, Boys Like Girls
Written by: Kathryn Black