All My Heroes is 4 piece Post Hardcore/Rock*** act that hails from Miami, Florida. Here we have a band that lists their influences as Tina Turner and crack, say they sound like Tina Turner on crack, and state that they want to put on their dancin' shoes just for you (www.Myspace.com/allmyheroes). Sounds to me like they prefer to let their music do the talking. And isn't that the way it should be?
Upon the purchase of the EP "Magnolia ST.", I had heard 3 of the 6 songs. I found Looks Do Kill and A Fond Farewell to be two of the more enjoyable songs I'd heard in a long time and The Haunting to be a good song, but nothing spectacular. Before listening to it, I figured that I had heard the 3 songs worth hearing and would be regretting the 7 dollars and risk of identity theft that I took when purchasing this off of Smartpunk.
Well, I was wrong. The seven dollars was well spent, but I'll still be damn pissed if someone claiming that they're Joe Cushman goes out and buys a new TV. But thats a given. The beauty of All My Heroes' music lies not in technical proficiency, but in them being extremely tight. They are catchy enough to keep your attention, but not so much that you get the sense that being catchy is all they have going for them. Indeed, that is not true at all. All 4 musicians (barring maybe Caio, Bass) holds their own and shows that they are an important part of the band.
The two members that display that unique quality and importance are vocalist Dannel Escallon and guitarist Danny Kiranos. Dannel's vocals are the focal point of the band and he and Danny work very well off of each other. The best display of this is in the verses of The First Coming of Winter. Dannel's voice is very desirable and pleasing to the ear. He knows his range and doesn't try to stretch it. His strongest quality is his ability to sincerely express the emotions that he's trying to convey in each song. And he does so without resorting the whiny, despairing (for lack of a better term) techniques and sounds that are way over-used today. His screaming also comes across as sincere and doesn't just sound like it's there to give the band a harder edge. However it does seem out of place at times. For instance, Telling This With a Sigh has a chorus with Dannel carrying some very good notes that convey emotion very well. But they over-dubbed a bunch of screaming over it and it takes away from the song as a whole and makes it sound kind of forced and sloppy. Not only that, but I can't figure out what he's screaming.
Danny's guitar playing really give Dannel's vocal melodies an extra bit of punch. This band wouldn't be near as good if one of the those two changed their style. Danny's playing, while never really rising above power chords, manages to sound unique. He pulls of a lot of interesting picking melodies that, again, add a lot to Dannel's vocal stylings. That same picking style that he utilizes to accent the vocals also makes for some great, refreshing bridges and interludes. While he never actually solo's on the cd, he utilizes simple guitar harmonies to get a more dynamic sound. The most notable of these is found in Telling This With a Sigh. Simply put, Danny's true strength is his ability to know what he's capable of and not try to over do it. He's stays within his style and sounds great doing it.
The rhythm section of All My Herows, consisting of Ed Campos on drums and Caio Santos on Bass, is very competant while never stealing the show. The bass isn't as audible as I'd like to be, but isn't non-exsistant. Caio does a fair amount of root riding and following Danny, which tends to bother me. Probably his best work is evident on Telling This With a Sigh, namely the intro. If there is one glaring flaw with this band, it's the simplicity of the bass work. Ed's drumming is, once again, competant. He goes off the principle of simple, but effective. His beats provide a solid back-bone for the song and he is capable enough to throw in a few tempo changes and stop-and-go rhythms here and there. The rhythm section is at it's best in the song Personifcation, mainly because that's a pretty straight forward pop-punk song in which the vocally stylings steal the show.
All My Heroes are, as I stated earlier, not an extremely technical band but they are very good songwriters. There are some pretty cool breakdowns on this cd, namely in the song Looks Do Kill, which features a very nicely played bit by Dannel and probably Ed's best drumming on the disc. The lyrics on this album aren't anything earth shattering, but Dannel manages to use good imagery without losing the message of the song. The lyrics cover such topics as Haunting (The Haunting), The opposite sex (Telling This with a Sigh, First Coming of Winter), and Friendship (A Fond Farewell). Keep in mind, however, that I've searched everywhere but I cannot find actually lyrics for any of these songs, so this is what I hear Dannel saying. He's from Brazil so it's not always obvious. Dannel does step into the realm of pseudo-emo lyrics once on First Coming of Winter with "Take hold my wrist, and cut my veins." I hate lyrics like that. He does come across as a bit cliched sometimes as well, but not so much that it sounds like he relies soley on those cliches.
As a whole Magnolia St. is a very enjoyable listen. A worry of mine was that it would have a good initial effect, but end up not getting many spins after a couple listens. On the contrary, I actually still listen to it on a regular basis and I've owned it for a solid 6 months now. Simply put, All My Heros play music that grabs your attention without being shamelessy catchy. They utilizes their strong sense of melody to their advantage and have a solid rhythm section to back them up. I cannot stress enough of well Danny and Dannel work together. These guys are well rounded and I think that they'd probably appeal to fans of multiple genres, but would have a strong appeal to fans of the poppier side of the post-hardcore genre, as well as anyone who likes Pop Punk or Emo.
Dannel's vocals are unique and powerful
Danny's guitar playing compliments Dannel perfectly
Clever Melodies, both vocally and Musically
Very simple bass
Some cliched lyrics
Some screaming seems out of place
Can't find lyrics for these guys anywhere
Telling This With a Sigh
Looks Do Kill
***I'm not a huge genre buff, so I'm a little lost on what to classify them as. They're myspace and purevolume sites say Post Hardcore, Rock, Indie, and Emo. I can see all of those, but I can also see them as being Pop-Punk. Anyone who has heard of these guys or anyone who knows a lot about genres (Yeah, I'm talking to you Dfelon) you're help would be appreciated. But for now, I'm going to put this under Rock. I trust Med or Damrod will change it to whatever they and everyone else deem fitting.