When I first heard about Knox Hamilton, I was intrigued by the notion that they sound like a blend of The 1975, Walk The Moon, and Phoenix, because these bands all produce songs that get people dancing and moving. After listening to their debut album, The Heights, I can say that Knox Hamilton more than fits this upbeat, feel-good vibe. With their first full-length attempt, vocalist Boots Copeland, drummer Cobo Copeland, and guitarist Drew Buffington created a record that is indicative of the band’s transition to a sound that represents them. At the same time, their music still has a sweet tone that makes people want to nod their heads along in approval.
“We Get Back” welcomes listeners with a tune reminiscent of an island vacation, accompanied by catchy guitar riffs. With more synth and bells incorporated into them, “Pretty Way To Fight” and “Washed Up Together” give off an 80s instrumental style. During “Pretty Way To Fight,” similarly to the way a fight has its ups and downs, the quieter parts of the song contrast with the louder sections to create a dichotomy.
Fittingly, it seems as though “Set It On Fire” could coax a fire to start. Initially, I believed the song would be angsty and angry, but I was surprised to find that it’s the opposite, as the chorus is sung in falsetto and with a softer tone. The deep sound of the guitar and drums works well together in accompanying the high vocals.
In “Sight For Sore Eyes,” the lyrics convey the range of emotions people may feel during the first stage of a relationship. This is enhanced by the song’s instrumental components, as the bridge slows down the melody before it bounces back to its original fast tempo.
When it comes to conflicts in relationships and breakups, musicians tend to draw inspiration from the sadder moments, but Knox Hamilton takes a more calmer, positive approach. This is exhibited in “Work It Out,” which showcases the thoughts of someone wanting to work out conflicts in a relationship. The higher pitched sound of the synths and guitar reflect the hope that is present in the lyrics.
While I can see Knox Hamilton experimenting with different tempos in their future music to add more variety and depth to their style, overall, I believe The Heights will be an album that sets the tone for summer night gatherings and late night drives with the windows rolled down. Before listeners realize it, they will find themselves jamming along, especially during the instrumental breaks.
REVIEW BY ELIZABETH LOO