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House of Heroes – The End is Not the End

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  1. Melody Bot

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    These are troubled times we face in the world today. The turbulent stage we as not only a nation, but a world are currently helplessly cascading through is not easy. Lies fill the airwaves, trust for your government cannot be formed, truth is slowly dwindling away. What can we do, as citizens, to diminish our fears? What can we do to press on and keep hope alive?

    We can press play.

    That’s right – we can find a proper soundtrack that fits into our woeful and dire needs of something strong, something fearless, something honest … and House of Heroes just might be that answer we all need. The basic pop-music structure/formula is fading faster than the Yankees’ payroll – and giving off about the same results: expecting something big, yet getting nothing in return. House of Heroes aims to change this notion with their (technically) fourth proper full-length release, The End is Not the End. Heck, it’s right there in the album title: the end is not the end. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it? The resurrection of one’s true and eternal belief in all that is, will be and ever was … in popular music. And life in general too, I guess.

    Vocalist Tim Skipper (the “Skipman,” as I like to call him) possesses a Jason Gleason-like power over this record; that is to say, he knocks this one outta the ballpark and unexpectedly delivers a beautiful prowess over these fourteen (“Intro” doesn’t count) cuts. To add to his charm, he has a superb band behind him, layering walls of sound over walls of sound, like a band of brick masons. First single, “In the Valley of the Dying Sun,” contains moments that sound like an orchestra of static and feedback over melodies and sonic bliss. If the Beatles (circa Sgt. Pepper) and Relient K got together … I imagine this might be the result.

    Let’s say the big pop-punk hooks you’d find on any recent and tolerable (key word there) pop-punk record went back in time and mated with a classically-sonic 70’s rock record. House of Heroes defied all space and time, and did just that with this album. The production doesn’t hurt it either – it’s obviously enhanced this band’s sound, assisting them in reaching epic new heights. “Field of Daggers” is a soaring feat, accomplished by military-style marching beats courtesy of Colin Rigsby (I’m gonna call him “Rigs”) and bombastic chants. “I see a new day coming / maybe tomorrow,” the “Skipman” cries out – could this line be any more perfect right now?

    ”Dangerous” is a little bit rockabilly, a little bit soul, A.J. Babcock’s bass lines swirling in-and-out, on-and-about; “Lose Control” is a blistering firestarter, laced with enthusiasm and adrenaline (“I run with the foxes / and roam with the hounds”) and some wicked guitar lines courtesy of the “Skipman” and the second “Rigs,” Jared; “Baby’s a Red” is a track that speaks for the record, containing the lyric, “It’s like McCarthy said: ‘We may differ on religion, but we both support the working man.'” Signaling hope, reaffirmation and, above all, guidance, it’s an indication that House of Heroes has made a record letting us know we’re going through a lot together, and have been down rougher roads before.

    Very few moments slow this record down. It’s one hour of sizzling pop-punk/pop-rock heat that decimates everything left in its wake. Songs ricochet off one another, never stumbling or losing momentum, never sounding the same; it’s a record with so much going for it, in terms of quality, quantity and intelligence, substance, etc. … that it’s destined to be the blueprint for how pop music can and should be done, but most likely won’t.

    Open your eyes, pop music creationists: this is how you do it right – this is the future! We don’t need no “American Idol”! We don’t need no thought control! Leave us kids alone! The End is just the beginning.

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