September 4, 2018 Developing Artist Showcase – I Hate Heroes
Pennsylvania. A Northeastern state that is known for its beautifully lush woods, sun-seeking groundhogs, yummy chocolate, and now, Post-Hardcore. Rockers I Hate Heroes are prepared to place themselves on the map with their independently-released debut album, Save Yourself, which arrives Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Yes, it’s true: Post-Hardcore quartet I Hate Heroes hail from Reading, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, they take their name from a quote that appeared in the popular TV series Heroes – which, presumably, they do not actually hate. Solidifying their lineup in 2014, the boys would go on to release two EPs: 2014’s Avarice and 2015’s If Life Were a Book, I’d Skip This Chapter. Additionally, they’ve produced some truly fun covers, including putting their own spin on Fall Out Boy (“My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”) and Taylor Swift (“Blank Space”).
With Save Yourself, I Hate Heroes – Vocalist Ephraim Francis, Guitarist Ricky Nachurski, Bassist Matt Cellini, and Drummer Nicholas Nachurski – further their band’s message of not accepting anyone’s definition of the truth but your own, and living each day to the fullest for oneself. Sound-wise, their Facebook claims influences ranging from A Day to Remember and We Came As Romans to Memphis May Fire and Crown the Empire. Which is fitting, as the band’s sound falls somewhere on the spectrum between A Day to Remember’s catchy Pop-dusted hooks and We Came As Romans’ aggressive infectiousness, with equal notes of Blessthefall and Pierce the Veil; heavy but damned catchy.
The 11-song Save Yourself starts off with theatrical atmospherics that build into “Here’s to You” (“You’ll never get the chance again to live the life that you already have”), where catchy choruses will make your hips sway but those crunchy verses are vicious, deliciously hard rocking. Francis’ high vocal range is reminiscent of We Came as Romans’ late, great Kyle Pavone and Blessthefall’s Beau Bokan, and he contrasts this perfectly with animalistic snarls that are pure Metal.
They start off with dirty bass lines thanks to Cellini on “Stand Tall,” an explosive assault that showcases the band’s headbanging abilities. Despite the outward heaviness, there are thoughtful epithets peppered in here, lyrically speaking, such as the wise words: “Let go of all of the notions keeping you at bay.” This moves the quartet into “Silver Linings,” where pulsating rhythms weave around throughout Francis’ multi-layered vocals, with Djent-y moments dusted here and there.
In first single/video “Alive,” they aurally depict the struggles of life through the dichotomy of sweetly soaring melodic vocals and those angered growls, all wrapped up with catchy, dance-able choruses. It’s a perfect representation of this band, and definitely a track worth streaming if you’re curious what I Hate Heroes are about. Next, not a Motionless In White cover, “Ghost in the Mirror” plays with the old adage “fool me once, fool me twice” to create a sonic ethereality that sits in stark contrast to the lyrical content, which explores the idea of dissatisfaction with what we see in the looking glass. The end result is a track that finds clarity in our reflections and hopes to learn to stand on our own two feet.
If you feel lost inside your own mind, buried in an avalanche of personal pain, you are “Drowning.” Here, those always present resonating snarls inspire change and seek a way to inspire, all in the name of escaping the murderous intent of all things routine. Next, grinding sonics anchor “Remember Me,” where the boys soar to new heights, exploring the hope of not being forgotten.
The band’s trademark juxtaposition of melody and bite sit happily on display in “Light the Way” (“Never sacrifice your spark to light the way”) with one of the album’s most catchy choruses, but that doesn’t stop Cellini from slamming the bass and digging the band down into some dirge-y depths too. They go for the immediately explosive on “The Battle,” where they build a brutal wall of pulsating sound and Francis meets this with some truly devious growls.
They explore love on the slam-dancer “If Looks Could Kill” which contains some cool synth effects before they go acoustic for album closer, “Sing Me to Sleep.” Here, the sonic sweetness travels alongside the old adage ‘it’s better to love and lose than never to love at all.’ It’s the perfect conclusion to a solid and impressive debut from these inspirational heavy-hitters.
With Save Yourself, I Hate Heroes establish themselves as a solid new name on the musical map. With their keenly alert, positive and inspiring lyrical views yet oft vicious, grinding and deliciously catchy sonic attack, the band blend the best of many worlds to create a sound that is intelligent and palatable. Ultimately, that makes I Hate Heroes a band that you should definitely know! For those looking to stream an aperitif or two, check out “Alive” and “Light the Way,” both excellent representations of this young band’s upbeat take on the world of heavy music.