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CD Review: Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

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Let’s face it. Once in awhile, life hands us something that makes us want to say “ewww.” That happened to me last night about 2:30 in the morning after listening to the debut album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! from cute boy band Hellogoodbye.

Zombies! is the kind of album parents all over the US hope their pre-teen and teenage kids are listening to. It’s a collection of eleven harmless love songs; songs that lead singer Forrest Kline says are “about my girlfriend or someone who did or didn’t used to be my girlfriend.” More than anything these are the kind of highly danceable, sanitized romantic ballads one would hear in the background of a Disney Channel feature. So it’s “love” sans the reality of getting used, visits from the Special Victims Unit and being treated for an STD.

I suppose that’s okay in a business that’s constantly marketing to the pubescent among us. It won’t be too long before these kids cross over to cynicism and start trolling used record stores for early Korn releases anyway. Still, with the plethora of marketing out there for pills that ease Herpes and aisles of condoms in every Walgreens, the innocent songwriting on Zombies! seems rather quaint.

The first single from the album, “Here (In Your Arms),” is about a simmering one-sided romance at a sleep away camp. By the end of the summer dance, the affection turns mutual. Musically the song is pretty standard. Kline’s vocals are processed and looped into Jesse Kurvink’s keyboards. Kline’s guitar is strummed and pecked at in major keys—no complex rhythms here. Bassist Marcus Cole provides some perky accompaniment to Chris Profeta’s steady drum beats. It’s all up, up, upbeat — a bit like the band ate way too much Cocoa Puffs before they recorded.

Even though this obviously isn’t my kind of fare, the beat is infectious enough to get the most hardened among us to tap our toes. The rest of the album follows suit. Not many chord changes or even differences in tempo. In a way, it sounds like one song edited into eleven parts.

For me, the concept behind Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! and Hellogoodbye in general is neatly summed up in a comment made by keyboardist Kurvink. “We want to make albums and tour as long as we can and then get married to our girlfriends and have puppies and kids and live happily ever after.”

Ewww.

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About Larry

  • http://www.myspace.com/yellosnow Lewis.

    The new HGB cd is THE album of the year. Buts thats just opinion.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    This article has been placed at the Advance.net websites, a site affiliated with about 12 newspapers.

    One such site is here.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rozi_is_gr8 Rozi

    I am a long time loyal fan to hellogoodbye and I listened to the album today and I loved it, I would definatly put it in my top 10. If you love hellogoodbye listen to the album and make your own decision because I think it’s great.

  • http://none Nathan

    hellogoodbye is definitely an acquired taste. Their first LP isn’t going to change the world of music as we know it. That being said, though, it’s a fun little album that’s quite an enjoyable listen.

    Also, it’s much better than anything played on Disney Channel, and I’d rather hear this on there than what they do play.

  • http://www.isound.com/contests iSOUND.com

    Check out the hellogoodbye contest on iSOUND.com

  • amber soto.

    Its the type of album that makes you want to fall in love.or at least make you dance all day,everyday for the rest of your life.

  • Mia

    They stole a few Ozma lyrics on this CD.

  • the tank

    one of my alltime favorite cd’s…b.c usually a cd has 2 or 3 good songs on it well this has about 9 good songs on it..

  • COOLPERSON*

    ITS 2007 AND I STILL LOVEE THEM(h) OOH SSOOO COOL. GOING TO THEIR CONCERT. WOOTWOOT

  • Kailyn

    I strongly disagree. I LOVE hellogoodbye. They are one of my favorite bands. I don’t get it – so you want someone to write songs about getting an STD? because that isn’t appealing to me thanks. And it’s nice listening to music that is happy, atleast it’s not emo. Not everyone is all about getting used or getting herpes… These songs make me feel good. I don’t like listening to songs that leave me feeling depressed.
    The band has a cool geekiness to it that is cute and irresistible. It’s reality if you ask me. A lot of it is about liking someone and not knowing if they like you back or not. and I’m pretty sure that is a situation almost every preteen or teenager has been in.
    HELLOGOODBYE IS AWESOME ( L )