Infinite Shuffle

December 12, 2010

55 – Earwig

Filed under: Columbus, E — assman41 @ 12:01 am

I first heard about Earwig in mid-August when someone from the band commented on my review of fellow Columbus, Ohio, act House of Heroes.

They provided a link to the their website, so I checked it out. The group didn’t seem like anything too special, so I never gave it a second thought.

That is, until I saw that Simon over at Outroversion had put up a post about the band. After reading his synopsis, I figured I’d give them another chance — and, again, I wasn’t too impressed.

But just before writing this post, I thought I should listen to their stuff on MySpace one more time so it was fresh in my mind. And, as it turns out, my first impression — and second one, for that matter — of Earwig was way off.

Originally, I deemed them a decent band, but nothing special. After another listen, I realized there really was more going on there than first assumed.

None of the songs really repeat — it’s as if each track was influenced by something totally different.

“Star Crossd” sounds kinda twee, maybe a little like fellow Ohioans Guided By Voices. “Rumplestiltskin” is heavier in sound and tone. “Trees” is just pure indie-pop. “Lovesong Cockroach” has a grunge feel to it. “Glorious and Gloom” is a little more emo-pop.

“Shiny Morning” opens with an auto-tune thing that is very reminiscent of Imogen Heap/Frou Frou before heading toward a more indie-pop/rock track. “Drag” reminds me of something Jimmy Eat World might’ve put out in their heyday. “Used Kids” sounds like something I would’ve heard on the radio during high school in the late ’90s — I just hope the band’s not as religious as it sounds in the chorus of this song.

There’s also an interesting back story regarding the band’s latest release, Gibson Under Mountain. Apparently, the album title came to lead singer Lizard McGee in a dream, and shortly thereafter he was “dream-writing” all the songs.

For more on the band, visit the official website.

July 18, 2010

36 – House of Heroes

Filed under: Columbus, H — assman41 @ 12:01 am

I first heard House of Heroes a couple of years ago when I still had my little, portable XM player and would constantly record hours of programming from the XMU/SiriusXMU station.

I eventually downloaded The End Is Not the End, their third full-length album, at some point in early 2009. But I never gave it a proper listen until now.

I immediately remembered which song first stirred my interest in the quartet from Columbus, Ohio.

House of Heroes – If

When I started doing research on the band, I was disappointed to see that they’re often considered a Christian alt-rock band. While there’s nothing wrong with that, as an atheist, I’m usually immediately turned off anytime I hear a band described as “Christian.”

As far as their actual sound, you wouldn’t necessarily know they have any particular religious leanings. While listening to them, I just kept imagining them up on a stage at the Warped Tour — since they sound like any number of the modern emo-punk bands that are out and about these days.

Of the “related artists” listed by Amazon.com, I’ve only heard of a few of them, and I don’t really know much about them other than that they would fall into the aforementioned Warped Tour genre.

According to drummer Colin Rigsby, some of House of Heroes’ influences are The Beatles, Queen, Muse, Bruce Springsteen and The Clash. Personally, the only band I could detect in their music was the occasional grandiosity of Muse.

If my less-than-objective review hasn’t turned you off of the band, go check out their MySpace page.

They’ll be releasing their fourth album, Suburba, on Aug. 3 of this year.

I may or may not check it out.

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