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Say Hello to the New Hellogoodbye

Hellogoodbye set to play at Phineas Phogg’s
By Thomas Sorrell

Hellogoodbye, the California-based band known for their catchy, quirky, electronic-based, synth-pop songs such as “Here (in Your Arms)” will be appearing at Phineas Phogg’s in Seville Quarter on Jan. 29 in promotion of their new album, “Would It Kill You?”.

“We’re super excited (about playing in Pensacola),” said singer and guitarist Forrest Kline. “We’re excited to play songs from our new record. This is the first time we’re going out on our own since we’ve released it. We’ve been playing shows where we were playing new songs, but they were not released yet. New music is kind of hard to take in live, so it’ll be nice to have people be familiar with it. We’re excited to play it and excited for people to finally know it.”

The album, released in November 2010, is the band’s second full-length record. Their first effort, “Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!”, debuted in 2006 at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard top 200 albums chart and has sold over 500,000 copies since.

Several things have changed, however, in the time between releases. The most notable is the band’s lineup. The only remaining member of the original crew is Kline himself. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, according to Kline, who was able to hand-pick replacements and eventually put together what he calls a “sort of dream team” of musicians.

“One person would leave and it would be like, ‘Oh, perfect. I know exactly who could fill that position,’” Kline commented. “It was mostly friends that I grew up with that have always played instruments, but we’d never been able to play together because we’d been in other bands.”

Another change is the overall style of the music. Formerly classified by writers as “synth” or “power pop,” Hellogoodbye has taken a slight break from the style of music that earned these labels and is now more accurately classified as simply “indie pop,” a label Kline referred to as “a pretty ok term.”

That’s not to say fans familiar with the frenetic, electronic-based sound that made Hellogoodbye a hit to begin with will be disappointed with this album—not at all. Their trademark, up-tempo sound (including their liberal use of the ukulele) is still present in a few songs, but the majority of the tracks have a richer, more mature sound that resonates throughout the album.

“This record has more of an all-around tone to it—kind of a similar sound across the whole thing,” said Kline. “The older stuff was kind of all over the place, which is cool. I like having things very eclectic, but I kind of like that this record has more of a sound that goes across the whole thing.”

That sound is, well, good. “Would It Kill You?” is the type of album you can pop in at the beginning of a road trip and be thoroughly entertained for the next 35 minutes. From start to finish, the music just seems to sound better this time around. The songs are put together better, the lyrics are more interesting, the melodies are tighter, and the instruments are more dynamic. It’s fun music which threatens to jump through the speakers and slap you across the face if you’re not at least tapping your foot to the beat.

Kline attributes this change mostly to his new recording space: his garage-turned-studio.

“I’ll go in the garage and come up with five seconds of something I like and just expand on that. Instead of me tinkering around with a laptop, which is basically what I used to do, I could sit down at a drum set and play it and record it. (Before) I didn’t have access to a lot of real instruments. That’s kind of why there was so much electronic stuff, just because that’s the only means I had to make music.”

Whether you’re a fan of the “old” Hellogoodbye, the “new” Hellogoodbye or have never heard of them before, come out to Phineas Phogg’s on Jan. 29 and see what they’re about. They plan on playing a mixture of older songs mixed with songs from their new album. If you’re a fan of good music and high-energy live shows, this is a band which deserves your attention.
info@inweekly.net

Hellogoodbye
WHAT: Hellogoodbye featuring Gold Motel,
You Me and Everyone We Know, Now, Now Every Children, and Heroes and Villains
WHEN: Doors open at 5 p.m., show begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29
WHERE: Phineas Phogg’s in Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
COST: $15
DETAILS: sevillequarter.com/events/2011/01/29/hellogoodbye