Light Years – I Won't Hold This Against You (2013)

I stumbled across Ohio’s Light Years a month or so after their EP Just Between Us was released. There was something different about the band that stood out to me instantly. In a genre where everyone was seeing how bouncy their music could be or how 90s-emo influenced they could sound, Light Years were true to the natural sound of pop punk. Since announced, I have been looking forward to the bands debut LP, I Won’t Hold This Against You.

“Uphill Battles” instantly throws you into the fast, aggressive style of the band that was present on their prior releases. At the same time, while feeling familiar, the band sounds a lot bigger and louder. The next song is “Parking Lots,” the first single off of the record. The way the riffs and vocals play off each other is very appealing to the ear. A little bit less aggressive tracks follow, like “Nice to Know You” and “Throwing My Life.” Wedged between those two is “Put Myself Together,” keeping things fast and punk influenced. The main thing I was noticing at this point is that Light Years had gotten really comfortable with their choruses and transitions. By track six, “Deadlines,” every chorus is sticking with me and leaving me curious to hear what’s next. “Deadlines” is a really fun track, and probably one of my first initial favorites.

“Ringing in My Ears” starts with an awesome bass line, followed by guitars and a roaring punk beat. By the time you start bobbing your head, the verse starts, flooded with super catchy guitar work. Again, the chorus stands out immensely. “Hindsight,” which is probably the boldest song on the record, starts with an acoustic guitar and is followed by some drums that could almost be considered folk. Without going too into it, I noticed the lyrics are a bit more personal on “Hindsight.” Overall, it’s a very attention-grabbing track. “Us vs. Them” presents a pretty different vibe as well. It really shows how comfortable this band became with this new release. It’s rare that you can hear the connection between the members of a band through their music. It’s quite beautiful.

“Float” brings some different vocal styles to the table. The song feels a bit darker than most of the others on I Won’t Hold This Against You. “The War Inside My Head” picks things back up with some of the most aggressive guitar work on the record. The leading riff in this track makes me think of some late-90s punk rock. There’s a sense of nostalgia in this song. Closing I Won’t Hold This Against You is the title track. It’s a nice melting pot of the styles scattered throughout the entire record. The song sounds extremely natural and organic. Will Yip really did a great job capturing that feel. Being a great album closer, “I Won’t Hold This Against You” is a very well-placed song.

In the end, there’s nothing reinventing about the record. It’s just genuinely good, honest music in a very follow-the-leader genre. I feel that Light Years’ honesty as a band will get them some attention following the release of this record. Anyone who is a fan of any type of punk rock or pop punk could get into this release.

Unlike most releases in the sea of bands that could be considered in the same genre as Light Years, there’s no certain niche or gimmick present in I Won’t Hold This Against You. Be sure to support a great band and pick up this release through Paper + Plastick Records on June 18th. A digital release is available now right here for only $5, which is an absolute steal for this record.

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By Zack Lloyd ~ Me Gusta Reviews