Nothing reeks of shameless cash-grab more than an acoustic EP, but this particular cash-grab is available in three different collectible colour-vinyl variants. Last year Ohio’s Hit The Lights released their fourth album, the delightful Summer Bones. Just over a year later and apparently still wanting to remain in their fans’ collective head-space for a few months longer (possibly they have UK festival appearances to hype up), they have decided to release Just To Get Through To You. The EP consists of three acoustic versions of tracks off Summer Bones, two classic HTL tracks redone in an unplugged fashion, as well as completely new track ‘Lighthouse’.
Without a doubt, ‘Lighthouse’ is the EP’s standout. It wrong-foots the listener bypassing the overarching acoustic premise and goes full-band for the end half. The aural contrast between the two halves is an interesting dynamic and the chorus is, as Hit The Lights choruses generally are, catchy-as-flu. The problem with the EP, aside from its cynical pointlessness, is that Hit The Lights’ strengths are dayglow sing-alongs, spring-loaded guitars and joyous GBH-themed lyricism – the toned down versions of “Fucked Up Kids” and “Drop The Girl”, decelerated and without distortion or drums, really expose how plain and inelegant the songs actually are.
Maybe if you need a first song for your Brand New-style Mixtape, (for your ex-girlfriend, naturally – we are aware that she is a sucker for anything acoustic), the EP’s iteration of “Save Your Breath” would be bitterly perfect for that purpose. If you are a hardcore Hit The Lights fan, this will totally be your jam. But if you were looking for a collection of effervescent pop punk tunes to kick-start your summer, Just To Get Through To You is not it. Perhaps listen to Summer Bones again instead.