Headlights - Kill Them with Kindness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Kill Them with Kindness (2006)


From my roommate, someone that listens to absolutely nothing in the realm of punk/hardcore/indie/metal/ska:

It's OK, better than all that other shit you listen to with people that are yelling and are really pissed off about something
And that begins the most unexpected album review in Punknews.org history. It's no suprise to any long-time site visitors that I'm not the biggest fan of indie rock. Maybe its the ADHD, or my stubborn attitude to accept the fact that I'll be 27 in just a few month, but I've never meshed with it. Nonetheless, with every failed relationship I've learned that I'm never going to meet a girl that listens primarily to Hot Water Music, Kid Dynamite, Black Flag, Wu-Tang Clan and Dillinger Escape Plan. So it's time to broaden those horizons. Hell, even my friends are tired of me insisting on driving so I can continue playing the same stuff over and over again.

Killing Them with Kindness is the type of record that I can put on to sit back and relax to. Intricate medlodies and an earnest aproach to the genre give the listener a sense of musical enjoyment. So often does indie rock/pop invoke the same generic formula of whiny vocals and mundane music that a person not immediately attracted to the style would easily dismiss it, without allowing even a casual listen. Fortunately, Headlights do just the opposite. The countering male/female vocals compliment each other in a way that the transition goes almost without any notice. At times, Erin Fein's vocals give a distant resemblence to a lighter Cranberries sound, whereas the music itself at times gives me a feeling a early Cure material, displayed in songs like "Words Make You Tired" and "Put Us Back Together."

Speaking of instrumentation, the various guitar effects, cello and violin inclusions as well as keyboard sounds actually blend into a very relaxing and subtle mixture, without a hint of pretension. The harmonica on the brief "Midwest Is the Best" leading into the more upbeat "Lions" had me tapping my foot along.

I could have used the press release for this album to name-drop some bands for those of you that have been anxiously awaiting this. But that's not my goal here. For those of you with such a stubborn approach to music as myself, maybe I'll help you open your ears a little more, as I've tried to. I'm not converting, but I'm paying attention.