I Was A Hero

Youth And Defeat EP

Written by: TL on 24/11/2012 17:17:29

While I must admit that I'm not too high on the bandname chosen by Albany, NY quartet I Was A Hero, the music they play on their debut EP from May, "Youth And Defeat", is of the variety I'm pretty much always going to be down with. The nature of their game is a raw, youthful take on what The Wonder Years have dubbed 'realist pop-punk' and especially in their calmer moments, I Was A Hero sound similar to their likely heroes in TWY, while their faster parts have them just as comparable to bands like With The Punches and Stickup Kid.

The good news is that when delivered with the combination of bright, energetic speed and sentimental melodies that I Was A Hero bring on here, pop-punk like this is almost impossible to not enjoy. Music like this is just too accessible and relatable for you to have a bad time listening to it. That being said, innovation rarely guests on releases like this, and indeed I Was A Hero's main problem is that they some times lack the personality and the strength of hooks to stand out from their contemporaries.

The latter is especially a problem on the three tracks that follow intro "Leaving Scars", none of which give me the impression that they're more than par for the course in the genre. Fortunately things start looking better as I reach the second half of the EP, with "I Guess It's Me"'s quirky chorus "It's like we're cheating in SingStar!" having some of the stickiness that I think the band is going to need to get their name out there. "2011" brings along a melancholy that would've sounded right at home on any of the last two The Wonder Years albums, and the refrain "These scars made me who I am" sounds like one you can easily imagine being shouted back at the band in many a future sweaty basement show.

Closer "Youth And Defeat" round things off on a good note, with the guitar melodies making me think of early Taking Back Sunday material (which is always a good thing) and between this emo tint and the scratched punk-rock vocals I think there's a nice contrast that again reminds me of TWY and which I think deserves to be explored more. Before that happens however, I'll pass verdict on "Youth And Defeat" as a solid debut which is faithful to its genre, and though it still lacks the personality to deserve big hype, it should be given credit for navigating the style without any particular missteps.

Download: I Guess It's Me, 2011, Youth And Defeat
For The Fans Of: The Wonder Years, With The Punches, Stickup Kid
Listen: facebook.com/IWasAHero

Release Date 08.05.2012

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