I wrote about HITS awhile back, but hadn’t had a chance to see them live until last night at their EP release show at Mercury Lounge. And let me tell you, they. Are. Fantastic. That energy! I missed this kind of electrified pop punk Though the venue wasn’t packed, those who were there were stoked on the music; not one person was standing still, and there were even a pair of overtly enthusiastic Japanese girls going nuts in the front (the mark of a successful show, in my opinion).
Their sound is mostly ’80s-infused synthesized pop, maybe borrowed from the Weird Science soundtrack, but seeing them live lets the punk influence shine through more so than listening with no visual. It’s definitely in part to singer Louis Epstien’s whole Joey Ramone-with-short-hair thing (toothpick legs, skinny suit, the upward vocal kick on the high notes), and the stage presence of all five guys–anyone else bored of going to shows to see people stand around behind a computer? Their opener, the single-worthy St. John, set the mood with a low clap and electric echoes that turn into an on-your-feet dance fest for the chorus, “Deliver the message, yeah truth be told/ so don’t be scared/ you’re gonna get burned.” Burned by all the lasers, maybe–the ’80s never die in this world, but work in and out of thumping percussions for the kind of rhythms that get into even the most stoic concert-goers skin. Drug references on new song Veins could very well have meant the electronica: “Why you shaking / it’s in our veins, our veins, our veins/ Do too many but we always want more.” They had some production help from friends Cobra Starship; it’s duly noted, in the energy, fun atmosphere, etc, but without the Warped Tour/Top 40 side effects.
Extremely fun show by some obviously talented musicians; I’m happy they’re local, because that won’t be the last time I hit one of their shows (sorry). Check out their Soundcloud RIGHT NOW, their stuff is free to download (for now). I’m stoked, you’re stoked, we’re all stoked on HITS.