Audio Mixers: Danny Rash; Rick King.
Recording information: King Sound Studio.
Photographer: Ben Morales.
2015's Summer Bones saw the Ohio emo-punk purveyors driving their sugary, often wistful, festival-ready pop-punk anthems in a more commercial direction. 2016's Just to Get Through to You follows a similar formula, but uses far fewer decibels to get there. More of a stop-gap release than a proper follow-up, the six-track EP offers up acoustic renditions of Hit the Lights faves like "Drop the Girl" and "Blasphemy, Myself, & !," as well as one brand-new track. The genre already lends itself to vulnerability, but hearing "Summer Bones" and "Fucked Up Girls" delivered so intimately effectively doubles down on the nostalgia factor. Even stripped of their sonic might, Hit the Lights prove themselves to be formidable, with frontman Nick Thompson delivering the good/bad news with signature gusto, and the band following suit by digging in like the stadium power went out and shit just got real -- the verse/chorus, soft/loud dynamics of the genre do feel a tad more rote without the requisite peaks in volume. Even so, Hit the Lights remain true pop-punk craftsman, and they deliver each piece with the kind of populist, workmanlike urgency that's made them one of the leading lights of the scene for the past decade or so. Ultimately, fans anxiously awaiting a new studio LP should find more than enough to chew on here, even if it is just a snack. ~ James Christopher Monger