Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

hellogoodbye
hellogoodbye

Artist: Hellogoodbye
Album: Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
Label: Drive-Thru
Purchase: Smart Punk
Release Date: August 8, 2006

Overall: 7.8
Music: 7.6
Lyrics: 7.3
Production: 7.9

Waiting and patience are just a few of the things hellogoodbye fans had to go through these past three years. The band originally put out a free EP in 2004 and have been touring / writing new material ever since. It is only now that we can finally get a full collection of songs from the band. Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! is the title of the bands debut full-length as they continue their fun and catchy sound while mixing in some more dance beats and melodies.

Bringing in the album is “All Your Love” where we hear a familiar dance/rock beat that we have come too know from the band. The vocals are done well but the addition of electronic effects actually drag the song on giving it almost to much of a dance feel. If you want even more of a dance song then “Here (In Your Arms)” is the song for you. Filled with full electronics and hardly any guitar/bass parts this doesn’t seem like the type of song that should be on this album but they had to do at least one with a full electronic feel. After the first two tracks I was happy to hear “All Time Lows” which actually sounds like a hellogoodbye track. Well done keyboards and an actual guitar part give the song a nice lift up to the standards we all expected from this album. “Stuck To You” continues with the full band sound this time giving us a funky intro and dance along guitar parts throughout the song. “Oh, It Is Love” brings the tempo of the album down on this mellow acoustic track. The lyrics sound strangely familiar but it’s probably because they are so easy to catch onto and sing. Now for “Baby, It’s Fact” you can take “Oh, It Is Love” speed it up and you have almost the same song. “Figures A And B (Means You And Me)” is a good showcase of the full band playing and doing what they do best.

When I first took a listen to this album I was pleased by its variety and different styles. After listening more I could tell what tracks were going to stand out and what ones felt weak, but that’s the case with almost every album. Overall it’s great to finally hear some more music from hellogoodbye and this album should please previous fans with its catchy choruses and electronic beats.

Track Listing:
1. All Of Your Love
2. Here (In Your Arms)
3. All Time Lows
4. Stuck To You
5. Homewrecker
6. Oh, It Is Love
7. Baby, Itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Fact
8. Figures A And B (Means You And Me)
9. I Saw It On Your Keyboard
10. Touchdown Turnaround (Donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t Give Up On Me)
11. Two Weeks In Hawaii

hellogoodbye to Play Suprise Set On Warped Tour

hellogoodbye will be performing a suprise set on the Ernie Ball State under the name hellogoodbye182 at the August 4th Warped Tour date in Scranton PA. They will be doing a set of all Blink covers. Check the stage set times for the performance.

Also hellogoodbye’s new video for “Here (in Your Arms)” premiered on MySpace today. MySpace is doing a full album stream of Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! from this friday 8/4 through 8/7.

Halifax – The Inevitability of a Strange World

Halifax
Halifax

Artist: Halifax
Album: The Inevitability of a Strange World
Label: Drive-Thru Records
Purchase: Smart Punk
Release Date: May 23, 2006

Overall: 8.6
Music: 9.5
Lyrics: 7.9
Production: 8.9

It’s been a long time coming, and when I say a long time coming, I mean basically a year. “The Inevitability of a Strange World” is Halifax’s debut LP for Drive Thru Records. This album is great. It’s not awesome, it’s not bad, but it’s great. It’ll make for good summer-driving music..or party music, depending on how you look at it. It’s no surprise the content of this album is more concentrated on being a big time rock band as the groups penchant for partying has been made public by several appearances on MTV’s “The Real World.”

The opening riff of “Nightmare” gets your head moving automatically and before vocalist Mike Hunau can even finish the second line of the song, he’s already shown us how powerful his voice can be. This is one of the strongest and catchiest tracks on the album.

The Motley Crue influenced “Our Revolution”(the song blatantly rips off the melody of “Kickstart My Heart” with the blessing of Nikki Sixx himself) presents us with a band that obviously wants to have more fun than bands that take themselves too seriously in this scene. The song was road tested for the past year along with “Nightmare” and contains what is probably one of the cheesiest “shout-a-long” parts on any band’s current touring circuit. Replacing the Crue’s “Whoah, yeah!” to “Hell yeah!”, you can just taste the cheese, but when you’re seeing this band live, you can’t help but shout along. To top things off, there’s an over the top guitar solo. Halifax are as close to hair metal as you can be while still retaining your fans. Honestly, I like hair metal. Maybe that’s why I love this song so much. It’s a feel good track that’s a lot of fun.

Keeping the pace of the album up is “Under Fire.” Interesting rhythm parts and a catchy chorus keep you jamming along for another three minutes.

“Anthem For Tonight”, “Hey Italy”, and “Snow In Hollywood” are more of the same driving rock that’s been playing for the past three tracks. The trio are all solid tracks, but aren’t as compelling as the previous.

“Such a Terrible Trend” will most likely end up on the next incarnation of “Power Ballads.” It’s not that bad of a song, it just brings the album’s fast and furious pace down a few notches.

Luckily, the opening “Ahs” of “Better Than Sex” make up for the slowed-down tempo of “Such a Terrible…” and the song fully kicks in, picking things back up. With Mike’s voice really shining throughout this song, the lyrics of the bridge stick out. “Still why do we breathe sex like lovers, but live like enemies?” The song even has a light breakdown that oddly enough fits in perfectly.

Unfortuately, we’re slowed down again by “Giant in the Ring” which is easily skippable.

What happened to the flow of this album? “Promise Me Tragedy,” “A Tint of Rain,” and “I Told You So” continue the pattern of fast, slow, fast. This band should just stick to writing pounding rock music instead of slow songs that will put you to sleep in thirty seconds.

“Murder I Wrote” closes the album mixing some of the best and worst elements of the band.

Musically, the band has expanded upon what made their EP “A Writer’s Reference” so wonderful. The guitar parts are metal tinged while still retaining their “punky” roots, and let’s not forget that solo in “Our Revolution.” The drumming is solid, and the bass helps keep the rhythm in check.

Lyrically, the band can improve. The “fun” tracks are great for what they are, but aside from “Better Than Sex” the “relationship” tracks need some work.

Dual production from Lou Giordano and Machine took a polished album and gave it a gritty live feel. The result was perfect for all of the faster songs. The band shines live and the “live sound” of the album is close to what you’ll hear when they take the stage.

The only thing strange about this world is that Drive-Thru’s release schedule is back on track. If they keep bringing us solid releases like this, they can easily reclaim their crown as favorite independent label of kids everywhere. As for Halifax, if the band keeps growing and gets the promotion they deserve, they will easily topple the crap passing for rock on the radio right now and will bring the fun back into a corporate market.

Tracklisting
1. Nightmare
2. Our Revolution
3. Under Fire
4. Anthem For Tonight
5. Hey Italy
6. Snow In Hollywood
7. Such a Terrible Trend
8. Better Than Sex
9. Giant In the Ring
10. Promise Me Tragedy
11. A Tint of Rain
12. I Told You So
13. Murder I Wrote

David Melillo – Talk Is Cheap

David Melillo
David Melillo

Artist: David Melillo
Album: Talk Is Cheap EP
Label: Drive-Thru Records
Purchase: Smart Punk
Release Date: April 18, 2006

Overall: 8.8
Music: 8.5
Lyrics: 8.9
Production: 8.6

The long awaited debut from Florida’s David Melillo is finally out via an online relase through Drive Thru Records and mtvU. “Talk Is Cheap” is a completely free, downloadable EP(the hard-copy store release will have an extra song.) Drive Thru did this twice before with hit(Hellogoodbye) and miss(Jenoah) results. I’ll just say that if you do not download this EP, you’re going to be missing out.

“Sam’s Song” opens the album. This tune has been available on purevolume and myspace for a while, and is my favorite song on here. It’s Dave and a guitar. That’s really all you need. Seeing this song performed live is an experience. This kid’s voice is spectaular.

“Vatican Roulette” starts off with a funky drum beat to be followed up by a full band onslaught of guitar and synth. The lyrics stand out here with a coming of age tale and a chorus so catchy that Fall Out Boy would be jealous. The song is reminiscent of old Starting Line without the pop-punkiness.

I’m putting “Knights of the Island Counter” up there with “It Was a Summer…(Baby Steps)” by October Fall in the category of songs I’ll be listening to this summer with my windows down. It’s nice to hear a song about drinking that’s not totally depressing(Don’t get me wrong. Some lyrics here are completely honest and full of regret.), even if the singer is still underage.

“This Is 2005″ slows things down a lot, and while it’s still a great song, it’s the only one I don’t thoroughly enjoy listening to. It just drags the momentum of the EP down. Dave’s voice still sticks out here, and like I said, it’s still a great song.

“Morris County Blues” picks things back up and closes the album out with an insanely fast chorus that totally shows off Dave’s lyrical abilities. The song is explosive and everything you could want from a release like this.

David Melillo may only be 17, but most songwriters that are double his age wish they could write songs this good. I can’t wait for a full length. It’s no wonder Drive-Thru signed him. If this is a shape of more solid releases to come from Drive-Thru this year, I think Fueled By Ramen might have some competition.

Track Listing
1. Sam’s Song
2. Vatican Roulette
3. Knights of the Island Counter
4. This Is 2005
5. Morris County Blues
6. For the Sake of Remembering