"Blush" By Hello There (Lexington, KY)/Pop Punk/Released Aug 2016
With a fast paced, youthful sound and strong female fronted vocals, Hello There is comprised of singer-guitarist Brooke Pence, guitarist Coty McKinney, bassist Audie Cook, and drummer Scottie K. Cook. Originally formed under the name Like Prey by Pence and McKinney, the group changed their name to Hello There in 2014 after adding Scottie and Audie. After releasing a three track demo in March 2015 the group released their first official EP “Blush” in August 2016.
Most of the disc’s songs are short, sweet, and to the point with only two of Blush’s six tracks surpassing the three minute mark. Uptempo beats, loud fuzzy guitars, and Pence’s contrasting, cleanly delivered vocals are trademark’s of the band’s sound. While the first three tracks exemplify no frills classic punk, the latter half of the record display Hello There’s alt rock influences. “Silly Girl” contains some laid back ska punk stylings reminiscent of No Doubt. “Pine For Me” switches from catchy chord riffs to an atmospheric dream-like break mid song. “Lullaby”, Blush’s final track, is easily the standout song on the record. A near seven minute epic starting off with a music box lullaby sample, the song goes through several different movements. Starting off melodic before going into the group’s trademark fuzzy punk rock, and then coming back into melodic territory before closing out with noise rock style guitar solos and Pence’s anthemic refrain of “open up your eyes”.
Hello There is a band with a lot of potential. Especially if they continue to explore the atmospheric textures of many of their songs which allow their frontwoman to shine. Fans of 90s era alternative and of punk in general can find plenty to enjoy in “Blush” and should keep an eye on Hello There to see what else they may have in store for the future.