House of Heroes [Suburba]| Posted August 16, 2010 Suburba is an album like nothing else you will hear today. Since last album The End Is Not The End, I?ve been convinced that House of Heroes is the top punk band in all of Christian music. With this album, they are now my favorite punk band in all of rock music. I am a long-time fan of Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Plain White T?s, Death Cab for Cutie and Relient K. If you like those bands, get this album immediately. House of Heroes won me over 2 years ago with ?If,? ?Lose Control,? ?In The Valley of the Dying Sun? and ?Field Of Daggers.? I have had the privilege to see the band in concert twice and heard them perform a few songs from this new album last month. If you like what you hear on this album, don?t miss out on seeing them perform live. I haven?t seen many bands who are even better in concert at performing incredibly tight guitar riffs and singing amazing harmonies than on the studio recording. House of Heroes are the real deal.
Suburba is hooky, 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. 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 appeal to any fan of 1980?s electronic rock. The mix of diverse musical styles with Tim Skipper?s amazing vocals are an incredible combination that gets better and better with each album. The standout songs on Suburba include the anthemic album opener, ?Relentless,? ?Elevator,? ?So Far Away,? ?Salt In The Sea? and the epic ?Independence Day For A Petty Thief.? 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? they comment 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.?
CLOSING THOUGHTS Suburba is without a doubt the top punk rock album of the year. I can?t get enough of this album and expect multiple GMA and GRAMMY award nominations for this album. If you haven?t jumped on the House of Heroes bandwagon, don?t wait any longer. This album will stay in heavy rotation for me and although I didn?t think it was remotely possible to match the intensity and brilliance of The End Is Not The End, after constant listening of Suburba, I?m now convinced that this is their best overall album and one of my top 5 albums of 2010.
An Enjoyable, If Overrated, Release| Posted August 04, 2010
House of Heroes made quite a name for themselves in the Christian Rock industry with their WWII-themed "The End Is Not The End" release in 2008. Now they are back with "Suburbia," their much-hyped follow-up.
The album has been getting glowing reviews and "Album of the Year" already seems a label in it's future.
Now, for those of us who don't gush at every riff these guys do, is this album still good? Short answer, yes. It is by no means the musical landmark some make it out to be, but that doesn't mean it's bad either.
Quite the contrary actually, opening rockers "Relentless" and "Elevator" are enjoyable and catchy rock tracks guaranteed to get stuck in your head for awhile.
The album delivers a lot of other memorable tracks in the form of "Love is for the Middle Class," "Disappear," "Constant," and the mighty closer "Burn Me Down."
"She Mighty Mighty," is a song I like musically a lot more than lyrically. I guess the same could be said for heralded tracks "God Save The Foolish Kings," and "Independence Day For A Petty Thief." These aren't bad songs, but I don't get the hype around them at all.
The remaining tracks are good if not stellar songs. Amazon and iTunes each have an exclusive bonus track as well. From Amazon, we get "Galveston," another upbeat, if very average, rocker. "Patient," the iTunes exclusive, however, was a nice musical surprise. It's a very slow tune, the slowest song on the record I'd say. It's a short(albeit a little too short) piano-driven ballad that's musically enjoyable.
As a whole, I like Suburbia. It was definitely worth the $3.98($2.99 from Amazon plus $.99 for "Patient" from iTunes)it cost me. Most of those songs will likely find significant play in my MP3 Player for months to come. I don't think it's as good as it's predecessor, but it's still very good, and indeed among the better releases this year. However, I think it's a bit pre-mature to call this "Album of the Year" material at this stage in the game. It's a very good album, but unless you are in love with everything this band does, you might find that it is definitely a bit overpraised. Again, that's not to say it is a bad album at all, but I'm not handing out the awards for it yet.
Must Have CD of the Summer| Posted July 27, 2010
This CD opens with a synth-pop orchestration that is also blended through out the song. "Relentless" opens the story, and the the pace for the rest of the album. You can already tell that you are going to take a trip back to the glory days of rock-n-roll; when it was all about making music from the heart not for the money, and telling a worthwhile story. I for some reason, started think about ABBA while listening to "Relentless." It is a great opener, but the next song "Elevator" is an instant highlight of this CD. The guitar riff is infectious and hard to get out of your head. You almost want to start jamming with your air guitar. This is an amazing rock song, and comes at a great time when the rock scene is kind of mulling right now (minus the Classic Crime's new CD). I absolutely love "Love is for the Middle Class," which come next. The line "If all I have is love, would I still be lovely/If all I give is love, would you give up on me/But if you measure love in false securities" has to be the most prominent songwriting I have heard in awhile. This song is life, and definitely a instant hit.
"So Far Away" follows and the hits continue. This is the beginning of the Meatloaf comparison. If you are a big fan of Meatloaf (like I am), you'll understand. This connection puts this song into my favorites column. Just listen to the line: "We've gotta hold on to hope/In this heartless world." That is so true. Then next comes the first single and video from the CD: "God Save the Foolish Kings." This song continues the Meatloaf vibe, takes me back to High School, and reminds me of West Side Story in a modern way; or Grease. I love the stories this CD tells, and you really have to listen to the lyrics to catch the meanings. It's not hard to get, but you do have to pay attention.
There is a reason behind way this CD starts of a song called "Relentless." This is because you are offered a relentless offering of unique, and fantastic songs. "Salt in the Sea" is a pretty metaphoric song, and probably the most blatantly Christian they get.
Up next is "Independence Day for a Petty Thief," which is really a song about come to age and finding your identity (at least I believe). While not one of my favorites, it gets the point across. And when it breaks for fireworks, then into the tightest guitar work I've heard in awhile, this song becomes amazing. I guess it will have to grow on me.
Following this is "Somebody Knows," which is a modern love story. The chorus with the choir is a standout of this song, and truly makes this song enjoyable. Another highlight is the guitar solo. A very interestingly crafted song, but still enjoyable. "Disappear" comes next and is probably the closest to HOH's previous CD's. I am not too fond of this song, and its pacing seems a little out of touch for this CD. There always has to be a least one dud on every CD, and this I believe would be it. I say this in comparison to the rest of the songs and what they brought to the production. The guitar work is fabulous, and probably the one thing I liked about this song.
Up next is probably the most interesting song on this CD, "She's Mighty Mighty." It bleeds in the same vain as "She's Always a Woman to Me" by Billy Joel. The obvious difference is that this song is faster and more rocking. At this point, I am starting to believe HOH is trying to challenge all those wanna be guitar players who spend countless hours on Guitar Hero. "She's Mighty Mighty" is not a dud, but is not a favorite on mine either.
"Constant" is the best song right now, and one of my favorite songs on this CD. It is also the most honest, and vertical songs on this CD. It's not out of place because the earlier songs displayed the craziness of life, and "Constant" delivers the only thing that is constant, God.
"Burn Me Down," is another one of my favorites and another like "Constant" and "Salt in the Sea" that is as blatantly Christian as HOH has gotten. It is another truly enjoyable song, with a little synth-pop, atmospheric elements, and more amazing guitar work.
This CD is refreshing, and truly enjoyable; a must have of the summer. This CD is for anybody who love's rock-n-roll as it should be: raw, honest, fanatical, big, written from the heart, and more about making amazing music then about making money. CD highlights and my favorites: "Relentless," "Elevator," "God Save the Foolish Kings," "Salt in the Sea," "Constant," and "Burn Me Down." HOH is one of the most underrated bands to date, and are amazing live (and they don't even play with the same members they do in the studio). Enjoy.
A Roadtrip must| Posted July 01, 2013
This is my youth group's road trip album. Such good driving music. The fast tempo and catchy lyrics, the drums alone rate a mention.
Elevator and Love Is For The Middle Class are our two favourites. They go on repeat for a few times before we actually listen to the album.
It is nice to see this band putting out some worship songs as well - showing their diversity and faith. Constant is played on Life FM (New Zealand radio) Worship stream. Having worship like this makes it more appealing to wider audiences which is cool because God is for everyone.
Authentic Rock 'n' Roll!| Posted October 13, 2010
House of Heroes'latest album Suburba is a straight up rock 'n'roll funfest that doesn't stop delivering throughout the whole 12 songs on the album. Before this album I had no idea who House of Heroes were, until they got me hooked with great songs such as Relentless, Salt In The Sea, Elevator and the stand-out track, God Save The Foolish Kings. Suburba is 45 minutes of fun as you are taken through songs that describe the life of being a teenage kid living through the ups and downs of the American suburbs. This album may be 45 minutes of fun but that doesn't mean it's a shallow album either.
Themes such as the complications of love (Love Is For The Middle Class) and the school fights behind the bleachers (God Save The Foolish Kings) this album is a fast moving kick-butt rock album that is an absolute joy and pleasure to listen to, from the highlight opener, Relentless, to the closer, Burn Me Down. This album is clearly aimed at youth, so if you're not counted as a youth then you probably won't like this album as much. Other than that, Suburba is one of the funnest releases of 2010 that is a must buy!!
4.5/5| Posted August 12, 2010
House of Heroes set the bar pretty high when they released The End Is Not The End. That album was basically perfect in every way shape or form. Now comes their new outing Suburba. While not as awesome as The End Is Not The End was, it's still a pretty good album to help close out the summer. There are fun songs, there are serious songs, and there is a song about Lost. This album blends together the House of Heroes from their last album, a bit of the Beach Boys, and just a splash of Muse all into 47 minutes of music that your ears need to hear. Lyrically, this album deals with our teenage youth and issues they go through like love and independence. Some memorable tracks include: "Elevator," "Love Is For The Middle Class," "God Save The Foolish Kings," and "Constant." With fast-paced guitars, multi-layered vocals, and fun songs, this album is a perfect fit for the summer months.
House of AWEsome!| Posted August 07, 2010
I absolutely loved Suburba and I have been listening to it for 3 days straight. It has that Je ne sais quoi, that sets it apart from other punk albums. It is lyrically diverse and you can be sure to be pleased no matter what kind of rock you like to listen to. You have everything from the mellow "Salt in the Sea" and "Somebody Knows" to the fist pumping anthems of the summer of "Relentless" and "She Mighty Mighty". House of Heroes' sound is a mix of Sufjan Stevens, Mewithoutyou, Cheap Trick, and Foo Fighters, yet it's completely their own. This album is a definite must have. It's got everything from slammin' vocals, guitar riffs, and some awesome orchestral backgrounds, to some straight up acoustic guitar and clear vocals. My favorite tracks on the CD are "God Save the Foolish King", "So Far Away", and "Love is for the Middle Class". I love this band and this CD, go and buy it; you won't regret it.
Knew HOH Wouldn't Dissapoint| Posted August 04, 2010
I have been waiting for a new release from this band since I heard The End is Not the End. (I don't really count the Beatles' cover album). I love how the album just gives you something to think about and is slow, and fast, and catchy. I particularly like "Independence Day for a Petty Thief" and "God Save the Foolish Kings". I love HOH, and the poster on my wall is not getting taken down, no chance of that.