Hello Operator –The Breaks
Record Label: Ampia Records
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Indie pop is enjoying a surge of mainstream attention. From the prominence of soundtracks for Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Juno to the success of electro-indie outfit Owl City, it has never been a better time for an indie pop band to make its mark, and that is exactly what Canada’s Hello Operator will do.
With vocals reminiscent of We Are Scientists, and music that takes a page from both classic rock and pop punk, “Chasing Satellites” keeps a solid foundation in quirky indie pop, but still has catchy riffs and a chorus that soars. “She Lie Like the Devil,” is not as strong. Repetitive lyrics, and an uninteresting chorus make the song pale in comparison to its strong predecessor. Its only saving grace is the control of dynamics the band manages to display. “Take Me Away” is an absolute joy to listen to. A twinkling, piano-laced intro, followed by subtle, but interesting, basswork, a grand chorus, and amazing control of dynamics and atmosphere make the song jaw droppingly stunning. “55 Regrets” is a nice, catchy sing-along song. Though not special in the grand scheme of this EP, it is strong enough to stand on its own. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for “Piece of My Heart.” It is, overall, simply a mediocre song. Thankfully, “Thing I’ve Become” pulls this EP out of the rut it had dug itself into over the past two songs. It is slower and more orchestral, which provides a perfect beckdrop for the stunning vocal work. The two elements work together to highlight the emotion present in the other, and present a song that is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is overall a very strong effort from Hello Operator. The band shows an excellent control of dynamics even in the more mediocre tracks. When the band shines, they shine brighter than the sun and all the stars combined. I look forward to future output from this act, since this EP truly impressed me.