I blame my ex for this no even she couldn’t stand them, so that’s not fair. When going in to this I looked at it by these standards, would people look down upon me if they heard me playing these songs? Would I quickly change the song if it came up on shuffle around people I respect? Would it cause a girl I wanted to date to laugh at me and possibly get out of the car? Lastly, do I still love every catchy-as-fuck song?
For me this self-question raising album, and band would be Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! by Hellogoodbye. The guitar parts make me feel as though I could probably pick a Strat’ up and play them in a few hours with absolutely no prior experience. The vocals could have come from any preteen-karaoke-party across the nation, and the drums are respectable, but dont make up for making you feel like your back in middle school. Simply put, Hellogoodbye is for the nerd in me that was extremely uncomfortable around girls in high school.
I would more than gladly jump right back in a Hellogoodbye crowd at Warped Tour, where I could hold up lead singer Forrest Kline, as he crowd surfs on an inflatable raft, all the while bananas, beer, and hotdogs dance onstage.
Lead song “All Of Your Love” is essential Hellogoodbye: a simple drum beat underneath keyboards, guitar and Kline’s nasally, yet lovable voice, singing lyrics which carry a Weezer-type cheesiness, “All of your love is all that I needed/and I can’t be close enough unless I’m feelin’ your heartbeat.”
Lead single off the album, “Here (In Your Arms)” thrusts the band into a spotlight that was never the goal, but attained nonetheless. This is the most enjoyable song on the album. I mean, come on, who hasn’t had that person that you wanted to whisper, “Hello I miss you quite terribly”? It might have been when you were 16, but don’t try to act like those times didn’t matter at least a little.
The rest of the album makes my case a little harder, but essentially add up to more of the same. One song with a different tone to it comes at track six. “Oh, It Is Love” starts out as a solo track with Kline playing the ukulele and singing about (guess what?) love! It’s a welcome change in tone from the earlier overbearingly sweet pop-punk and almost sounds like it could fit perfectly on a Jason Mraz album.
I would be remiss not to mention “Touchdown Turnaround (Don’t Give Up On Me)”, which is flat out party dance song, and if you ever get a chance to see the band live, it’s by far the absolute highlight. It should be the last song on the album, however “Two Weeks In Hawaii” closes the record on an almost subtle tone.
If you don’t try to take yourself or the band seriously it’s easy to enjoy. Of course, if you’re comfortable in the Motion City Soundtrack, The Early November, or Steel Train crowd, Hellogoodbye may feel right at home. The band’s goal eight years ago when they formed was merely to woo crushes and entertain friends. Really though, that’s all they do now, just in front of thousands of people who know how to have a good time, dance, and not care if the music playing isn’t the best or most original thing ever created.
I take a certain amount of pride in almost everything I ever like musically so it’s difficult for me to call anything a guilty pleasure, but the cotton candy sweet lyrics of Kline and Hellogoodbye are too good for me to resist. If it means having to tell the sixteen-year-old’s at Warped Tour to watch their hands, well it’s just a sacrifice I’ll have to make.
“Touchdown Turnaround (Don’t Give Up On Me)”