House of Heroes brings an edgy rock in their self-titled album that can shake the speakers and rattle the brain with some up-in-your-face attitude and intense topics. Blasting off with “Buckets,” the band caustically encourages a code of silence if you want to get paid, offering up the option of either silencing your intended message to please those who make the decisions or starving because you cannot do your job. Once you sell out in your attempt to eat, you become one of the oppressors because “There are no doctors, only victims, only butchers,” sings the band. The lack of optimism continues as House of Heroes sings that “there are no churches, only prisons, only senators.”


(2005) Music Review


MUSIC REVIEWS INDEX
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This page was created on June 7, 2005
This page was last updated on June 8, 2005

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1. Buckets for Bullet Wounds
2. Fast Enough
3. Friday Night
4. Mercedes Baby
5. Serial Sleepers
6. Make a Face Like You Mean It (Vampires)
7. Metaphor in Parentheses
8. Pulling Back the Skin
9. Bois d'Arc Circus
10. Suicide Baby
11. Angels in Top Hats..

CD INFO

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Title: House of Heroes


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REVIEW BY
JACOB SAHMS

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House of Heroes brings an edgy rock in their self-titled album that can shake the speakers and rattle the brain with some up-in-your-face attitude and intense topics. Blasting off with “Buckets,” the band caustically encourages a code of silence if you want to get paid, offering up the option of either silencing your intended message to please those who make the decisions or starving because you cannot do your job. Once you sell out in your attempt to eat, you become one of the oppressors because “There are no doctors, only victims, only butchers,” sings the band. The lack of optimism continues as House of Heroes sings that “there are no churches, only prisons, only senators.”

“Fast Enough” chronicles the pain of a girl addicted to cutting herself. “Friday Night” is the male equivalent—rather than cutting himself with an inanimate object, he picks a fight with someone. “Power’s the drug and pride is the needle./And it rips through my skin/and goes into my blood stream./I feel like laughing, I feel like choking on it,” House of Heroes cries, lamenting an addiction that is just to pleasurable to shake. “The dark is so accommodating,” they sing, to the same tune that drives Anakin to turn away from his path as a Jedi, as they recognize that to change from their chosen, messed up condition costs more than staying the same.

The first outspoken reference to faith comes in “Serial Sleepers” as the “Sons of God” are called to wake up and “sing the song that hides behind your teeth.” From the sarcasm of “Buckets,” we hear the challenge to those lukewarm souls who sleep when they should be speaking, who trust the dark too much, and lack the courage to rise like the dawn. “Make a Face Like You Mean It [Vampires]” shows the recurring theme of a song/mission sucked clean of its meaning/purpose by those who long to make money or simply be commonplace and therefore well-liked. Without the call to rise from sleep mentioned previously, this song lacks meaning but the overall progression shows the purpose.

“Love has conquered fear, truth will carry me,” ends “Metaphor in Parentheses.” The darkness rolls on but there is another movement growing and House of Heroes wants peace within the growing hope they feel. “Do what you will, I’m believing tonight./I’ve left behind the ‘whens?’ and the ‘whys?’” leads to an understanding that there is a victory beyond the suffering already acknowledged. As we are told that “perfect love drives out all fear,” we can see that the understanding of hope, truth, and love show the Heroes a better way (I John 4:18). This better way does not rinse away the stain felt in “Pulling Back the Skin” and “Suicide Baby,” as past hurts inflicted on others are rarely rolled back so easily.

A fitting mixed closure to this album is “Angels in Top Hats, Cups Full of Blood.” A car crash has rendered ‘Janie’ comatose and the singer wants to know what the hope that apparently she shared with him will bring to her present situation. He asks her if she can “hear my prayers hit the ceiling?/Can you tell me if my words have a meaning?/Can you tell me what my hope is to look like?” House of Heroes has rocked hard, critiqued hard, and asked some hard questions—in the end, the fact that they dare to ask their questions of faith makes them heroes to admire.

 
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