Hyro Da Hero

Birth, School, Work, Death

Written by: DR on 14/06/2011 23:26:57

If you're anything like me, you find plenty to be angry about in the world we live in. How easy it is for the attention-seeking pornstars masquerading as 'reality TV celebrities' to achieve fame for nothing, the general prejudice that can still be all too prominent in society, the state of (most) music the mainstream shoves down the public's throat - not to mention fucking autotune - and how a lot of the public accepts it. Based on Texan Hyro Da Hero's debut, "Birth, School, Work, Death", these topics, and more, make him angry, too.

His passion is unrelenting, and it fuels this release. Yes, Hyro Da Hero is a rapper, but don't doubt his rock credentials. He lists "Relationship of Command" among his favourite albums, and through producer Ross Robinson (who has worked with At The Drive-In, Glassjaw and Norma Jean, and so many more awesome bands) he met the members that he would eventually record with. On guitar is Daniel Anderson (Idiot Pilot), on bass is Paul Hinojos (At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta/Sparta), and rounding the band off on guitar and drums respectively we have Cody Votolato and Mark Gajadhar (both from The Blood Brothers).

That quintet's driving musicianship gives this album an unquestionable punk edge, and when combined with Hyro being as passionate and pissed off as a man who has lived through the dark side of life, the end result is a sound akin to Rage Against The Machine. The two gems of the album, "Ghetto Ambiance" and "Section 8", are not only the best examples of how it was nothing less than a stroke of genius to match such distinguished band-members with Hyro, but also how he actually manages to rival their frenzied instrumental work with furious vocals of his own - especially the closing cries of "MURDER! MURDER! MURDER!" of the latter, a song that At The Drive-In, Rage Against The Machine or The Blood Brothers themselves would, dare I say, be proud to call their own.

Variation from the punk side comes in the likes of "The Worlds Stage" and "Beam Me Up Scotty", as they divert from aggressive vocals and fast fret-work to instead create bouncier melodies and demonstrate Hyro's ability to pen anthemic choruses. "We Still Popular" opens up sonically and incorporates electronic beats, but the swagger of the guitars keeps it away from being just another dull rap-rock song.

Despite how compelling the marriage of members is, Hyro is the star of the show, and it's a testament to him that even the downright 'hip-hop' efforts like "Grudge" and "Man In My City" will hold the most ardent rock fan's attention. I know, 'hip-hop' is an unappealing term that has come to represent money, women and vulgar accessories, but Hyro refuses to be associated with that by letting loose on those who have brought the genre into disrepute. Enter: "A Conversation With Hip Hop"; "I had a conversation with hip-hop / and he told me how he wished that this mess would stop ... 'cause it was supposed to be the voice speaking for the youth / not all this fussing and cussing and fake shit / making bullshit music trying to get rich".

Hyro Da Hero takes on such topics as racism, ignorance and the plethora of shit accepted in popular music and television without holding back, but he does so with more intelligence, sharp humour and an even sharper tongue than your average rapper, or indeed frontman. Underneath the anger Hyro Da Hero just wants society and music to be better, and with "Birth, School, Work, Death" he's at least doing his bit to improve the latter.


Download: Section 8, Ghetto Ambiance, A Conversation With Hip Hop, Beam Me Up Scotty
For The Fans of: Rage Against The Machine, Run DMC, Deftones
Listen: Stream it here

Release Date 04.04.2011
Stereo Bang Media

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