Sound — 10
House Of Heroes straight up rocks, hands down. The sound isn't your hard driving heavy metal, and it isn't quite that characteristic punk sound, it's nothing typical. Basslines such as the one in "Buckets For Bullet Wounds" provide the perfect backup to Tim's lone guitar. Some songs are fast and hard driving such as "Fast Enough" and "Mercedes Baby", while others take on a totally different mood. "Friday Night" is pretty much a three and a half minute crescendo, starting out calm and quiet and building to a heavy and fast ending. The strangest of the songs, however, is the nearly nine minute long "Angels In Top Hats", which takes on a strange ambient feel through most of it, building to rocking breaks and amazing vocal performance.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics aren't on a scale with Bad Religion or FM Static in depth and complexity, but they aren't cheesy either. Sometimes the lyrics are enigmatic, such as in "Metaphor In Parentheses", and sometimes the words themselves are difficult to understand based solely on Tim's singing style. At some points in songs such as "Buckets For Bullet Wounds", the words are nearly unintelligible, but that's the same with nearly any band. Overall, however, the confusion allows for a bit of mystery, and the singing is very melodic and goes well with the often unpredictable music. Instead of screaming words into a microphone, House of Heroes actually attempts to sing, and does a good job of it. Everyone backs up heavily on vocals, and it really helps create a dynamic experience at key parts in songs.
Overall Impression — 10
It's difficult to compare House of Heroes to other artists, because they borrow from so many different musical styles to generate their own style. The first single, "Buckets For Bullet Wounds" was well chosen as an accurate representation of the album, but it is certainly not the only song on the CD worth listening to. Around me, the phrase "like a bad House Of Heroes song" means it doesn't exist, indicating how well put together this album is. From the fast and ruthless "Make A Face Like You Mean It (Vampires)" to the thought provoking "Angels In Top Hats", every song on this album deserves at least one listen.