Hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! (2006)


Hellogoodbye didn't have much going for them on the six-and-a-half-hour drive to Chicago to attend the 2006 Vans Warped Tour. My travelling companion and fellow tour-goer pleaded with me that we needed to see them, telling me they were kind of like an Atom and His Package ripoff. That was strike one. Their name alone drew the wrath of the musical elitist in me who was appauled that they could get away with associating with one of my favorite songs by the Beatles. That was strike two. I also knew that they were on Drive-Thru, and their name wasn't Rx Bandits or Homegrown. Strike three. I already hated this band.

When their set was over, I was actually glad I'd given them a chance. Despite sounding horrible live, they provided one of the most entertaining sets of the afternoon that included mascots in fruit and vegetable costumes and a delightful cover of the Vengaboys' "Boom Boom Boom Boom" (which I am regrettably a huge sucker for). I walked away hating them much less than I would have cared to.

Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! is the first full-length from the much publicizied Huntington Beach quartet. Having only heard them live, I was curious as to how they would sound on CD. The first song, which reminded me of something I'd hear at an eighth grade dance party, immediately turned me off. I seriously considered whether I should waste my time listening to this CD if this is what it was going to sound like. The second song, "Here (In Your Arms)" wasn't much better, but had a little bit of an `80s vibe going on, which did make me smile. Finally, by the third song, things started looking up. Complete with electric guitars and a standard punk beat (!), "All Time Lows" sounded like what Relient K would probably sound like if they had a spastic keyboard player. That's neither a compliment nor an insult, I was just glad to hear something other than keyboards and synthesized beats for the first time on the album.

"Baby It's a Fact" is one of the catchier tracks, though the melody is a bit too close to Maroon 5 for comfort. Another one of the more pop-punk songs, "Figures A and B (Means You and Me) " is annoyingly catchy and features some of the dumbest lyrics I've ever heard. The obvious highlight of the album is the hilarious dance song "Touchdown Turnaround (Don't Give Up on Me)," which nearly singlehandedly saves this CD from being permanently taped upside down to my ceiling fan.

In the end, it's a good thing these guys don't take themselves too seriously. The lyrics are stupid, the music is mostly boring, and the novelty of the silly synthesized vocals gets old after about 15 seconds. Yet, like when I walked away from their live set, I don't feel that this band has completely wasted my time with Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!. I heard some catchy tunes, I heard some crappy tunes, and I managed more than a few cheap laughs at the expense of this band's music.