Would It Kill You

Written by: TL on 14/12/2010 22:55:54

So, who here remember Hellogoodbye? "Here In Your Arms"? "Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn"? While most of us where busy getting familiar with bands like Motion City Soundtrack and Fall Out Boy - that wave of pop-punk in particular, Hellogoodbye introduced the genre to unashamed keyboard melodies and took songs like those two for a quick trip to the radio waves... And then pretty much vanished from the face of the earth afterwards - I mean, have you heard anything from this band since then? Because if you have, you must be some sort of hardcore fan or follower of theirs I think?

Regardless, I remember seeing this band live back in 2007, at Give It A Name in London, noticing that their show was much more quirky and indie-ish in nature than I would've expected from a band basically foreshadowing the neon movement. I can only compare it to fans of the first Panic! At The Disco album, seeing what the band was like on their "Pretty. Odd" tour.

As a consequence, I've possibly been less surprised than most, with the turn of direction the band has taken here on their new album "Would It Kill You". Essentially, the change is the same as Panic! At The Disco underwent on "Pretty. Odd", as Hellogoodbye - after changing a few members - have seemingly let themselves be similarly inspired by 60's pop, meaning that they no longer sound 'neon' at all. Instead, you can now easily compare the band to the likes of fun. and Vampire Weekend if indeed not Panic At The Disco was enough for you.

From their anxiety-riddled prior material however, Hellogoodbye have retained a bubbly sense of energy, are hence the most like fun., in the way that they may very well have a core sound bound up on light-weight guitars and the charming singing of Forrest Kline, but they are also surprisingly busy with pepping things up with horns and pianos and ukuleles and God knows what else.

It all functions rather well, and in listening one can easily imagine the band feeling much more comfortable with their newfound expression. However, the cold, hard truth is that they don't do it anywhere near as well as the other bands I've mentioned. At least not yet. Each of those bands have shown to be adept at writing songs that not only cling to your mind almost instantly, but also pop into your thoughts from time to time in the long run. Unfortunately, that is not the case for anything on "Would It Kill You". The record is endlessly enjoyable, and easily accessible and singalongable, but it is so only between the first and the last note - a conclusion I make after many, many listens trying to prove otherwise. The fact of the matter is that while I condone the change of sound made by this band, and while I will thoroughly enjoy listening to this album any and all time it plays near me, I'm still hard pressed to name more than a few songs from it. As a self-declared pop band, it's quite clear that this kind of quality only gets you to the doorstep of the big marks - not across it.

Download: When We First Met, The Thoughts That Give Me The Creeps, Would It Kill You
For The Fans Of: fun., Vampire Weekend, Panic At The Disco (@ Pretty Odd)
Listen: myspace.com/hellogoodbye

Release Date 09.11.2010
Wasted Summer Records

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