Review Summary: On their four full length album, House of Heroes absorbs Queen and Glee! as influences to surprising results.6 of 9 thought this review was well written
House of Heroes is a Christian rock band that's been around since the late 90s, though they have just began to get noticed in the last five years. Outside of the Christian music scene, they aren't widely known, and this is a shame, because their music is some of the best the Christian industry has to offer. Their last album, The End is not The End
, was loosely conceptual, and their newest offering Suburba
is even more so. It's about - you guessed it - growing up in the suburbs. Although Arcade Fire is also exploring this theme on The Suburbs
this week, Suburba
has something that it doesn't; it actually sounds
like the suburbs.
The record starts off energetically with opener "Relentless," where the gang vocals already come into play, which are a staple of Suburba
. Musically, the album is fairly diverse; on the surface, it may seem like your average pop punk, but there is much more to it. "Elevator" has a rollicking bass line and is possibly the catchiest song on the record; in fact, you can hear the bassist, A.J. Babcock, on almost every song, and he knows how to play his instrument. His style reminds me of Mike Dirnt, especially on the Dookie
album. Guitarist Jared Rigsby is also very competent, and he'll switch from some simple chords one minute to a complex solo or spaced out bridge the next. These factors all help keep the record fresh and it never really falls apart.
House of Heroes are at their best when they're either at their heaviest ("Independence Day for a Petty Thief") or breaking out into gang vocals and Queen-esque choir sections, such as in the bridge to "Somebody Knows," parts of "God Save the Foolish Kings," "Disappear" and "Burn Me Down," and to varying degrees in most of the other songs. The softer moments come when they're not, such as "Salt in the Sea," which sounds like an early Switchfoot ballad, or "Constant," a great, refreshing worship song that should be played by church bands everywhere. These offer some good moments on Suburba
, but ultimately they can't match the heavier songs. Album closer "Burn Me Down" effectively combines all of their styles and it's a great example of the talents of all the band members. "So Far Away" and "She Mighty Mighty" are really the only downfalls, because they emulate other, better songs such as the aforementioned "Salt in the Sea" and "Elevator," respectively.
To conclude, if you are a fan of creative alternative rock and pop punk music, or already a House of Heroes fan, you should definitely give Suburba
a try. No, it's not as NOIZ as those home made demos you make with Fruity Loops in your basement, but it's a solid rock record. Hopefully, Suburba
will launch House of Heroes to the mainstream success that has eluded them for so long.