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Headlights - Kill Them with Kindness Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8.25
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 84%
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Inside AP.net

Headlights - Kill Them with Kindness

Reviewed by: Russ Hockenbury (07/17/06)
Headlights - Kill Them with Kindness
Release Date: August 22, 2006
Label: Polyvinyl Records


Polyvinyl could take a shit and there’d be no shortage of skinny people with bad haircuts in line waiting to dub it an, “indie classic”. That’s not to say that kind of blind acclaim isn’t warranted. The Illinois based label doesn’t just run out and sign any band off the street with a four-track demo and a dream. Instead, they go out and find bands that have put out records for years under various indie labels that hipster critics are already madly in love with. Headlights are one of the latest to ascend to the compassed throne.

Conveniently located in Polyvinyl’s backyard, Headlights rely on the familiar boy/girl harmonies executed so perfectly by label pals, Mates of State and The Like Young. Erin Fein isn’t as bubbly as Kori Gardner or as brooding as Amanda Ziemba, but she finds a happy medium. Her inspired rant on the jaunty electro-pop tune “TV” makes the song instant ear candy. It’s one of those tracks you don’t have to invest much effort into liking, similar to “It Isn’t Easy to Live That Well” on the band’s Tokyo EP.

Tristan Wraight, the XY chromosome in Headlights, is a more than adequate second vocalist. Fein is the star, but Wraight is the kind of understudy any number of other boy/girl bands would kill for. His somber direction on the aptly titled, key-paced “Lullabies” delivers it to one of the top three on the disc.

Truthfully, there’s little to dislike about Headlights or KTWK. I could do without the pointless electronic interludes of “Struggle W/Numbers” and “I Love, You Laugh”. They add nothing but heartless filler to an otherwise stellar album. Other than that small hiccup, combine the strength in gender equity with the band’s flare for orchestral symphony and Kill Them With Kindness becomes likely the best indie release to come out of the Prairie State since Sufjan Stevens epic journey down Route 1.


The Canopy Club always makes me drink---I mean, think of her: “TV”, “Put Us Back Together”, “Lullabies”

The Cubs still suck: Sufjan Stevens, The Reputation, The Like Young
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12.
06:12 PM on 07/17/06
#2
Steve Henderson
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These guys have always reminded me of the Postal Service or Stars without the synth.
06:17 PM on 07/17/06
#3
Mitch
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Originally Posted by Steve Henderson
These guys have always reminded me of the Postal Service or Stars without the synth.

I will check this band out not only because of Russ's good review, but because of your comparison to Stars.
06:34 PM on 07/17/06
#4
Russ Hockenbury
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Originally Posted by Steve Henderson
These guys have always reminded me of the Postal Service or Stars without the synth.

There's a lot more in the way of electronics going on with this album than there was on the EP. Yes, to synth.
07:15 PM on 07/17/06
#5
Scott Weber
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The Jealous Sound - Kill them with Kindness >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Headlights - Kill them with Kindness
07:21 PM on 07/17/06
#6
Ratherbedead22
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Originally Posted by Russ Hockenbury
There's a lot more in the way of electronics going on with this album than there was on the EP. Yes, to synth.

i was gonna ask you about that because i enjoyed the EP and it didnt seem to have a lot of synth on it.

and keep up the good work dude. you have fast become one of my favorite staff members on here.
07:36 PM on 07/17/06
#7
Russ Hockenbury
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Originally Posted by Ratherbedead22
i was gonna ask you about that because i enjoyed the EP and it didnt seem to have a lot of synth on it.

and keep up the good work dude. you have fast become one of my favorite staff members on here.

Thanks! Brandon Allin, I'm gunning for you.
09:36 PM on 07/17/06
#8
matthebert
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Great review. This album really does remind me of Stars and The Postal Service like Steve said. I really dig your style Russ, I mean it.
09:53 PM on 07/17/06
#9
myplasticyou
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Originally Posted by Scott Weber
The Jealous Sound - Kill them with Kindness >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Headlights - Kill them with Kindness


i was gonna say the same thing
11:05 PM on 07/21/06
Blake Solomon
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Originally Posted by Scott Weber
The Jealous Sound - Kill them with Kindness >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Headlights - Kill them with Kindness


damn, the jealous sound is good. I cant make this judgment though until I hear this band.
11:15 PM on 07/25/06
dbarker02
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The Headlights record is way more fun than The Jealous Sound. Or, maybe I just haven't listened to The Jealous Sound in two years or more. But this album is one of my favorites this year, I've been listening to it for going on three months, I guess. Though, I believe you meant to say Tristan <b>Wraight</b>. I can't believe you failed to mention "Pity City" though, that's one of the better tracks on here.
08:29 AM on 07/26/06
Russ Hockenbury
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Originally Posted by dbarker02
The Headlights record is way more fun than The Jealous Sound. Or, maybe I just haven't listened to The Jealous Sound in two years or more. But this album is one of my favorites this year, I've been listening to it for going on three months, I guess. Though, I believe you meant to say Tristan <b>Wraight</b>. I can't believe you failed to mention "Pity City" though, that's one of the better tracks on here.

Fixed. Thanks for catching that!
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