Released: January 31, 2012
Label: Razor & Tie
By: Nick Niedzielski
Invicta: unvanquished, unconquerable, invincible. The title of Hit The Lights’ newest album perfectly encapsulates the band’s rocky past couple of years. After releasing 2008’s pop punk gem Skip School, Start Fights, Hit The Lights’ was signed to Universal Republic, a major record label. The band immediately met resistance while working on the follow up and was stuck in limbo for a year. After being dropped, they signed with Razor and Tie and released Invicta, the album they wanted to make all along.
When the first epic drum beats kick in on the album opener “Invincible”, it is clear that Hit The Lights wanted to take their sound to the next level with this release. The first three tracks, “Invincible”, “Gravity”, and “Earthquake”, have huge, anthemic choruses, and vocalist Nick Thompson’s voice shines, showing a huge improvement since Skip School.
The band shows their biggest growth in the slower tracks, such as “So Guilty”, “Faster Now”, and most impressively, “Should’ve Known”. The latter is one of the highlights of the album, with haunting vocals and eerie guitars driven by a rolling snare. These songs provide a refreshing change of pace by showing a more emotional side of the band.
That’s not to say the band has lost all there edge though. “All The Weight” sounds like it could have been a b- side from Skip School, and the roaring guitars in “Float Through Me” bring back some of the bite from the band’s past.
Invicta is a huge step forward for Hit The Lights, showing that the band has far more ambitious plans than toiling in the ever growing pop punk scene. The band has shown that they are something special with this release, and will only continue to grow in the future.