Hit the Lights has kind of been under the radar as of late. Sure, they’re touring right now sans The Dangerous Summer and they have a new full-length on the horizon, but it seems as if people have kind of forgotten about the punching pop-leaning tracks they put together for Skip School, Start Fights. Now, a few years later, they’ve made the decision to get us excited by putting three of the songs from their upcoming record Invicta onto an EP of the same name. It’s clear from listening to this that Hit the Lights are still just as good at what they always were – and that maybe they’ve grown up a little bit in the meantime.
With a crisp, bouncing guitar-led intro, “Gravity” is a huge-sounding start to the EP. Accentuated verses with laid back yet punching drums build into curiously catchy choruses, begging you to sing along to the lines of “Can you feel our gravity? Can you gravitate to me?” “Earthquake” relies on a similar formula, though the thundering drum hits of the verses are backed by a never-ending melody woven into the background. While both songs are good in their own right, they are a little too similar in structure to be together on this EP. The beefier production of these tracks doesn’t help either, as they sound almost a little bit too much. Still, they are both relatively catchy and easy to get into, but it would be nice to see a little bit of differentiation.
The third and final track, “All the Weight,” changes things up though, as a laid back beginning – flanked by pulsing palm-mutes and kick-laden drums – sets a mysterious tone that leads into a much more familiar-sounding chorus from Hit the Lights. The smooth and much improved vocal lines of Nick Thompson are at their finest here, soaring with rocking guitars in the chorus to create the best passage of the bunch.
If the Invicta EP is meant to get us excited, color me intrigued. Hit the Lights will be full steam ahead when their full-length drops in January, and this is an ample taste of what they’ve had up their sleeves for some time now.