If you like teenage rock, you’ll like Hit The Lights’ latest album Skip School, Start Fights. They’re pretty gifted in terms of channeling the aspects of popularity in the current music scene. Featuring duel vocals, snappy power-pop guitar riffs, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and electronic background noise, the group seems to have all their bases covered to make the hearts of the teenage girls swoon.
Sadly however, Hit The Lights may have also placed themselves in a box they might not want to be in. That box is the backlash that comes when you eliminate elements of your musical resumé that might attract more than one demographic. This group has countless options and abilities that could be used to open a near unlimited amount of avenues in which they could travel, yet seems to have sacrificed the importance of musical individuality in order to comfortably drive on the same street as everyone else.
Furthermore, Hit the Lights’ desire to back themselves in the corner musically seems to have caused them the inability to separate one track from another. With the exception of “Count It,” the album’s 30 second introduction, every track is indistinguishable. Hell, I often can’t tell when one has ended and the next has started, short of a three second pause.
The arena rock yell in the background becomes redundant. The guitar structures simply blend together. The vocal reaches appear the same on every track. There is relatively nothing that sets this album apart from every other album in the world, which is depressing. While I have little doubt that Hit the Lights will sell a fair amount of records and reach several handfuls of kids every night the same way Simple Plan might, I find it slightly dishearteningly that these boys wouldn’t want more. Especially since they could have it.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. You can check it out yourself as Hit the Lights’ Skip School, Start Fights hits stores July 8th on Triple Crown Records. If you are part of the Fall Out Boy scene, please check it out. This album might be for you.
Hit The Lights: myspace