The Best of 2011 – July Through December: #22: House of Heroes | Christian Music Zine
June 13, 2011Posted by on
I know, I know, I know. House of Heroes just came out with Suburba last Summer. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t always demand for new House of Heroes music. There have been hints and rumors regarding some sort of EP in the works. This may just be a pipedream, but there seems to be some validity to the idea that the band will be putting out some kind of music this year, which is good enough to slide them into the back end of this list.
Here’s their bio:
It has been said that there are three things wrong with rock music, currently:
One, most bands sacrifice originality for “safe” marketability.
Two, most bands place fashion over great songwriting.
Three, most bands think production trumps heart.
But then, House of Heroes is not most bands.
And if you had to pick three characteristics to describe this, their opus, you would have to say it is fearless, uncompromising, and heartfelt.
Because Suburba is an album like nothing else you will hear today. And for that fact alone, it is a victory of epic proportions. Endlessly poppy, galactically ambitious, and dripping with honest, candid emotion, this is what a rock record is supposed to sound like. This is what a rock record is supposed to feel like.
“I like this album because we chose to write about things that we knew,” states frontman Tim Skipper. ”We wanted it to sound very American and full of youthful energy. We kept a lot of what we loved about the last record, but we just applied it differently and I think it came out exactly the way we wanted it to.”
So, what does one of the most ambitious records of 2010 sound like? In many ways it is a time machine, harkening back to days when music was wide-eyed and meant a whole lot more. Think classic Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, The Who, E.L.O. with a touch of Meatloaf. That’s right, Meatloaf. Who else could even attempt to pull off such a mixture than House of Heroes? Yet, here it is…In one sense, it could fit in arenas. And in another it is appropriate for the campfire. Teaming again with producer Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K, Deas Vail), Suburba is broad and anthemic at certain moments, yet vulnerable and intimate at others. There are driving, heavy tracks, as well as worshipful ballads. Make no mistake, the band bled to attempt to make this record not just a soundtrack, but an experience.
“This record is about growing up in middle class suburbia,” states Skipper. ”It’s about fighting for your own identity in the face of society’s ideas about love, money, religion and power. It’s about having big dreams and going after them with reckless abandon, yet having to reconcile the fact that things aren’t always going to go your way. And it’s about realizing, throughout all of it, that God is real and is the one constant among all the variables of life.”
The opening moments of the first track, Relentless will conjure up images of 4th of July fireworks, backyard bar-b-ques, and humid summer evenings. As the record moves forward you find yourself not just singing along, but seeing vivid imagery as House of Heroes sketches through your ears into your imagination. Hopeful and wide-eyed, House of Heroes harkens the voices of youth in the USA. It’s hard to imagine a record by this band that is just a collection of a couple singles and tracks, as they have always put painstaking effort into delivering complete albums. Yet, standout songs on your list would have to include the anthemic album opener, “Relentless” (which belongs on a college bowl game half-time show), “So Far Away” (which belongs on a climactic, season-ending scene of NBC’s Friday Night Lights), and “Constant” (which is as worshipful as anything you will hear at a Harvest Crusade or Hillsong Event).
House of Heroes went the extra mile this time around to create lyrics that are cool, calculated, and crafty, while remaining vertical all the while. On “God Save the Foolish Kings” he comments on the search for significance: And we fight ‘cause we’d rather break our bones than brave this loneliness, And we draw blood ‘cause we’re just trying to draw out some significance, But I met God on the street tonight, He said, “Choose your battles wisely or you’ll never find me.” On “Love Is For the Middle Class,” they comment on materialism and unconditional love: If all I gave was love, Would you give up on me? But if you measure love in false securities, I owe you nothin’ at all… Perhaps the most poignant moment of all on the record comes in its most worshipful, on the track “Constant,” where House of Heroes simply states the following: All thru the night I was fallin’, Straining to hear your voice callin’. You never gave out. You never gave in. You never quite gave up on me. You are my constant.
Armed with great touring opportunities and the chops to execute every last note of this glorious record, House of Heroes plans to travel mercilessly in support of Suburba. Having just completed notional runs with powerhouses such as Skillet and tobyMac, as well as Family Force 5, the band has seen a surge of new followers which should propel this record to heights not yet seen by the band. And with the full backing of proven label Gotee Records, there is little that stands in the way…
“This record feels so innocent. We wanted it to sound and feel like the best summer of your life…when everything meant something and the world was wide open.”
Check out the rest of the list here.