The fourth release from the power pop band from Columbus, Ohio is one of those albums that tries to hard to be everything to everybody. At times it feels as if you are a stuck in a time warp as they probe styles that range from mid 60's pop to Green Day punkish attitude. Along the way you might hear shades of Beach Boy's, gospel music and even a little bit of newer sounding stuff that might have come from someone like Muse.
Here lies the major problem with the disc. With so many influences represented the disc has no identity for itself. This is not to say that it isn't an enjoyable disc but it is one that really never catches on as each song gives you a who should we sound like this time feel.
Labeled as a Christian band because they do not shy away from their faith, it has seemed to pigeonhole the band and this record seems to be their response to that. Sure they proudly show their beliefs on the disc without being in anyway preachy about it but I am sure that many will not feel the same way. Any reference to Christianity is too much by some standards. That is a shame. For me, even if they do so in at best a mediocre album, at least they promote a positive attitude which is very rare in the music world these days.
Starting out with the song "Relentless" which falls somewhere in between The Babys and Thin Lizzy, House of Heroes display their proclivity for sticking with a sound that has already been treaded upon heavily. Even though this is a pretty good tune as is the next one "Elevator" they both are dated by about 30 years. This retro sound may get you through the first pass of the album but will be its ultimate downfall as it does not hold up under repeated playing.
They do get it right with the mixture of Rocky Horror Picture Show "Time Warp" meets Green Day with a little do-wop thrown in for good measure on the best song on here "God Save The Foolish Kings". This is the kind of mash up that bridges the old and new and pays homage to both without sounding dated. Too bad they can't pull it off for the whole album.
By the time you reach the end of the disc and the song "Burn Me Down" you will hear about as many styles as there has been in the last 30 years. Well, maybe not all of them but a great representation anyway. This last song will bring back memories of Electric Light Orchestra and is one of the better songs on here. Like most of the album there is nothing that I can say is really bad but the true high points are few and far between too. For the most part you are getting a very light and bland offering but it does show what they are capable of and I think they will get it right sooner or later.
3. Love Is For The Middle Class
4. So Far Away
5. God Save The Foolish Kings
6. Salt In The Sea
7. Independence Day For A Petty Thief
8. Somebody Knows
10. She Mighty Mighty
12. Burn Me Down