Release DetailsLABEL Tribunal
RELEASED ON 2/17/2004
School For Heroes
Arrivals / Departures
posted on 5/2004 By:
The powers that be decide that because of a generous review of this band's prior effort, Listen, warranted further exposure by way of being assigned this retrospective album containing reworked, previously unavailable tracks and a few new bones thrown in for good measure. Thanks. I didn’t like Listen that much.
But lackey as I am, the MetalReview slavedrivers say I must perform my task and review this stop gap album of slightly hardcore laced emo/indie rock metal. Although I admittedly enjoyed a few tracks of Listen, as SFH can pen a catchy riff here and there, the viability of this band as a metal outfit fit for review on this site, is still questionable.
Thursday, Atreyu, Taking Back Sunday, Further Seems Forever; if you are familiar with any of these acts at all, (I call it ‘Vans’ or ‘Birkenstock’ metal) you’ll be at home with the MTV friendly toned town hardcore, ripe with clean vocals, and the odd angst filled scream of childhood abuse. The guitar melodies are soaring and contemporary, rock based and mellow enough to play if you’re lucky enough to have a girlfriend around.
The 2 new tracks, “Royalty" and “Bruma”, essentially left over from the Listen recordings fit in line with that album's vibe even if “Royalty” initially opens with a surprising amount of vocal spite, before falling in line with a more commercial mode. To their credit, School For Heroes are a little deeper and complex than their star eyed peers, hence you haven’t seen them on MTV yet, they share more with Narcissus with their approach to song writing, just with a more pop edge, but still, I don’t think the Hot Topic crowd will latch on to them. “Bruma” might be the band's forced foot in the door for pop stardom though: a string laced ballad that apparently made close friends of the band cry (from the linear notes-I don’t just make this stuff up).
The older songs don’t really contrast themselves from anything, being the same consistent foot-tapping emo core you’d expect, as if you didn’t know any better, or weren’t a scenster or a roadie for the band, you might as well take this as a new album. Die hard fans of the band though will no doubt be chuffed at reworked versions of what I can only assume are fan favorites: “Sifter”, “Red Tide”, and “Abdenrot”, joy of joys for you. When School For Heroes try to be harder, as the chunkier moments on some of their tracks, they aren’t quite as convincing as their heartfelt harmonized tracks, but they get an 'A' for the effort and not being completely wishy washy. That being said they don’t seem able to recreate the embarrassingly catchiness of “Burning the Bed”, even if the main riff from that track arises (and is promptly butchered during the cringe inducing techno remix “Catholic Schoolgirls are for Heroes (Burning the Bed Remix)". Ugh.
Not quite ready to rub shoulders with the scene's malleable big boys and appeal to the kids, School the Heroes are a talented act that I can’t see having a true fan base due to the competition and the fact they are not quite as ready to cash in as their peers.
Now if you will excuse me, I must go and listen to death metal in ripped jeans.
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