Review: Hellogoodbye – Would It Kill You?

Hellogoodbye - Would it Kill You?

Forrest Kline has perhaps outdone himself. Frontman for powerpop group Hellogoodbye, Kline was the genius behind the group’s 2006 debut full length Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! That album sold over half a million copies and “Here (In Your Arms)” became a platinum single, so to outdo himself after that must have required quite the feat.

Would It Kill You? is that feat. The group’s new full length finds itself released near the end of an incredible year of music, but holds its own as one of the top releases in 2010. Undoubtedly the best poppy release this year, and probably one of the best of the last five years or so, Would It Kill You? is better than its predecessor in many ways.

But it seems almost unfair to compare the two albums because it’s almost as if two completely different bands wrote them. The difference is evident right from opener “Finding Something To Do”. Where there once was disco-esque electronics, there is an acoustic guitar. Where there once were autotuned vocals, there is now…erm…better normal vocals. Point is, this band has progressed about as much as any band can progress in four years. While not many can resist the nostalgia of songs like “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn” and “Touchdown Turnaround”, the post-Drive Thru Records version of Hellogoodbye proves to be much more substantial.

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Review: Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

Hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

The only thing more nonexistent than dinosaurs, aliens, zombies, or vampires these past 3 years was the debut album from the happy go lucky California quartet, Hellogoodbye. A stolen laptop with demos and leadman Forrest Kline’s struggle with his A.D.D. lead to numerous delays that made fans impatient or, even worse, just plain giving up on the band. But, finally Hellogoodbye have emerged from the darkness to release their debut album, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!!, through Drive Thru Records and what we get is a mixed bag of surprises, disappointments, cheesiness, and fun. Really though, should we really expect anything serious or groundbreaking with an album title like this and a band with a track history of goofiness like Hellogoodbye? I wouldn’t think so, and you would be wise to listen to this eleven-track album with an open mind and check your “scenester/elitist/holier-than-thou” attitude at the door. 

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