Album Review: Hit The Lights – Summer Bones

Few things go together quite as well as sunshine and pop-punk played loud. And with the way the releases are stacking up this is really shaping up to be a summer of wall to wall awesome pop-punk. Making an early claim to dominate the soundtracks to glorious sun-soaked evenings is the appropriately titled ‘Summer Bones’ the much anticipated fifth album from Ohio veterans Hit The Lights.

In the mid to late 00s HTL quickly established themselves as mainstays of the genre with two excellent first LP offerings. Since then their output has been a little hit and miss, but it’s fantastic to be able to report that with ’Summer Bones’ the band are back on their very best form.

Pumped up outsider anthem ‘Fucked Up Kids’ romps the record joyously into life frenetic riffs and huge bouncy powerchords powering a heftily hooked chorus that is sure to become a live favourite. Things continue in a similar vein on ‘The Real’, vocalist Nick proudly getting expansive on the importance of living life with ideals and standing up for what you believe before a fist pumping break-down that again will go down a storm live.

With layers of rousing vocals hitting the listener from all sides and guitars that blast along at a thousand miles an hour, ‘Life On The Bottom’ keeps the energy levels through the roof before that old pop-punk favourite, the shout along gang vocal chorus, pops up on the explosive ‘Revolutions and Executions’.

The title track ‘Summer Bones’ also manages to be the pick of the bunch. It’s chilled out and suitably summery vibes in the verses ramping up into an energetic chugging chorus, a tale of late nights smoking and drinking and the invincible feeling of being with friends offset against more vulnerable themes of self-doubt and the need to move on to new challenges.

’Keep Your Head’ and ‘Sitter’ are both infectiously up-tempo slices of vintage pop-punk that lead in well to ‘Old Friend’ which closes the album on a high in rousingly sentimental fashion.

’Summer Bones’ is far and away the best record that Hit The Lights have made in years. This is HTL finally combining the mature, thoughtful nature of their more recent material with the exuberance, energy and hooks of their earlier work to rather awesome results. As the notable pop-punk releases continue in the coming months Hit The Lights have set the bench mark pretty damn high for their younger rivals to match.

4/5

‘Summer Bones’ by Hit The Lights is out now on Pure Noise Records

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Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)

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