Forrest Kline has perhaps outdone himself. Frontman for powerpop group Hellogoodbye, which will visit The Record Exchange for an in-store on Nov. 16, 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.
It would have been easy for Hellogoodbye to completely sell out after all of the success that they experienced after the release of their first full length. They probably could have inked a major record label contract and churned out top 40 hits for years. But like their biography says, the group has remained self-made men. With a merch store being run out of a spare bedroom and a garage-turned-recording studio, Hellogoodbye are doing big-band things in a little-band fashion, something that only adds to the allure of their music. If the result of this DIY mentality is an album like Would It Kill You?, then Hellogoodbye should never change a thing. It was worth the four-year wait. — Absolute Punk
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