Review Summary: A Summery burst of Broken Social Scene melodies, Arcade Fire quirkiness and Sonic Youth experimentalism. Brilliant1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Burlington, Vermont collective, The Hero Cycle, are a 14-legged outfit and recent signings to the ever-expanding (and impressive) Hidden Shoal roster. Musically, this collective mix contemporary influences with some of the best bands from the past 15-20 years. There's a touch of Arcade Fire, a dollop of Broken Social Scene, while some of the tracks are peppered with experimental guitar work, reminscent of Sonic Youth. However, with the "Lakes and Ponds Ep", The Hero Cycle have created an ambitious little release that should be able to stand proudly, shoulder to shoulder, with the current indie darlings.
"Breathing In" gets this, short but sweet, Ep underway and gives a perfect introduction to this band, encompassing all of the key elements of their sound. The swirling Sonic Youth style introduction is augmented by drumming that is paying homage to Steve Shelley, while the vocals recall Lee Ranaldo's familiar tones too. However, it is the band's energy that shines through the most here, with the monolithic wails of feedback resembling a huge storm accumulating on the horizon.
"Lovers Crime" is a more optimistic number and displays The Hero Cycle's love of the subtle minor chord. The Broken Social Scene comparisons are most apparent here, with syrupy female vocals taking the verse, while swapping with male singing for the chorus. This is all soundtracked with jagged guitars and fast-paced drums. Its upbeat nature and excellent delivery makes this a classic example of an indie-pop song.
While next track, "American Proxy" doesn't quite hit the heights of the opening two tracks. "A New Love For Lakes and Ponds" immediately intrigues with its Arcade Fire style introduction. The fuzzy organ sounds, along with a driving rythmn soon pushes this instrumental into a massive, over-blown indie-rock explosion.
"You Vs Them" wraps things up on "Lakes and Ponds" and has being picking up a fair bit of radio airplay. It is not hard to see why, with a chorus that easily bores its way into your head, while the guitar interplay is mesmerising. It all ends fittingly, with a detonation of shoegazer guitars, as that catchy chorus blends itself into the music.
The "Lakes and Ponds Ep" brings together many influences, past and present. The Hero Cycle, however, have a knack of bringing their own unqiue burst of energy to the table, proving they have a superb handle of euphoric indie-rock theatrics. Get it here.