Hit the Lights – Invicta EP
Record Label: Razor & Tie
Release Date: November 1, 2011
When Hit the Lights announced the Invicta EP, I thought to myself, "What does invicta mean?" Through careful research (Google), I found out that it means "unconquered or undefeated." That pretty much explains Hit the Lights to core; through singer changes, label changes, and more, the band still stands tall and has been at the fore-front of the "scene."
One thing about Hit the Lights is that they have their own sound. No one truly sounds like them and this unique stamp has kept me drawn to them over the years. Invicta only extends this notion.
"Gravity" opens up the three song EP and it sheds any idea that this is going to be a simple pop-punk EP. The major complaint on Skip School, Start Fights was the lack of production on the record and the band makes sure to fully deliver on this end. The intro with the vocal effects and synth that segue into the powerful full band verse shows how the band can masterfully control their pop and rock identities.
One of the vast improvements on the EP is Nick's singing abilities. You can tell that his ability to manipulate his voice with a wider range of power and emotion has come full circle since the full-length. This is best exhibited when he belts out "And every star that navigates." Another great part of the song is the bridge. It's a heavy hitter that will surely be a crowd participation favorite.
"Earthquake" is a slower track that shows Hit the Lights' ability to change tempo without adversely affecting the listener. This is a rare skill that most bands do not possess. Its lyrical content could be drawn right from one of these new-age posi-core pop-punk bands, except Hit the Lights actually understands how to write a damn good melody. "The world is mine for the taking/This is the moment now/I know I can make" is blasted through the chorus and is probably the most memorable part of the EP.
Finally, the EP closes with "All The Weight." This is by no means a bland song, but it pales in comparison to the first two tracks. This can still be a song that 99% of bands today could make the strongest song on a full-length record, but Hit The Lights shows the extent that their songwriting can go.
If this is a teaser of what is to come of the band's full-length in early 2012, then this could be my AOTY without question.