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Album Review: Heroes For Hire - 'Life Of The Party'

31 May 2010 | 12:31 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Solid party they have going on here.

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It seems that whenever you’re talking about Heroes For Hire, there is two divided opinions towards the band that everyone has. You either both love the band and think they are fun, or you absolutely loathe them. The band first formed back in 2006, but they have only just started to pick up wind in the last 12 months, touring with the likes of The Secret Handshake, Fireworks, Skyway and even landed an opening slot on the Sydney leg of the 2010 Soundwave Festival. They headed off into Electric Sun Studios (House VS Hurricane, Built On Secrets) last year to record what would become their debut album “Life Of The Party”.

Described by myself quite a few times as being an “Australian version of All Time Low”, like the American superstars, the band has produced an album full of radio friendly pop punk tunes. Opting for catchiness rather than technical precision, the album does exactly what it sets out to do – get stuck in your head.

The album’s opening track reminds me of the band’s Australian amigo’s in Short Stack at times, which is sure to upset a few people that read this. The lead single from the album “Bright Lights In Paradise” is the strongest song on the album by a mile, highlighting everything that is necessary when having a crack at this style of pop punk. The song’s catchy chorus and memorable rhythm section show exactly why this song has started to receive airplay across the country.

It wouldn’t surprise me if you hear tracks like “Without A Sound”, “Come Away With Me” and “The Calling” more often later in the year, due to their slower more radio friendly sound. The songs show the band has a more serious songwriting ability until their belts, rather than just writing an album full of party anthems. The vocal effects used after the breakdown in “You Can't Spell Stud Without STD” are a real disappointment. They just sound so tacky and unnecessary, especially when the band's vocalist Brad Smith doesn’t need the effects on his voice to make them sound appealing. The song was one of the better songs on the album until this unfortunate incident.

The guest vocals by Tonight Alive’s Jenna McDougall during “We're Just The Footnote In Someone Else's Love Story” are a great addition to the album, mixing well with Smith’s vocals. The vocal harmonies between the two really push the song, lifting it to a class above some of the others. The crowd favourite “Lights Out”, which was re-recorded from the band’s previous EP sounds infinitely better than it did on the previous release, something that longtime fans of the band can cherish.

One thing that appears to get on people’s goats about this band is the American sounding vocals by Smith. The vocals sound good and they mix well with the music, so I can’t really see a problem with them. While the songs on the album are quite good, I get the feeling that I have heard it all before. In a lot of the songs I can hear a similarity to All Time Low and other bands, but maybe I am just being too picky. On the first listen to this album I was fairly unimpressed, but after a few spins it has started to grow on me.

Regardless of this review or what others think, this band is doing well for themselves and will continue to do so. With a heavy tour schedule and a solid album behind them, Heroes For Hire will continue to rise and eventually become a real force.

1. The Boys You Love To Hate
2. Bright Lights In Paradise
3. Without A Sound
4. Soon This Will Be Ours
5. Save Me
6. If At First You Don't Succeed... Use Cheat Codes
7. I Can't Change The Past, I Locked My Keys In The Delorean
8. We're Just The Footnote In Someone Else's Love Story
9. You Can't Spell Stud Without STD
10. Come Away With Me
11. Lights Out
12. The Calling