House of Heroes [Suburba]
Posted August 16, 2010
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
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.”
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.
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