Reluctant Hero

Paper Boats EP

Written by: BL on 02/12/2010 17:35:55

Do people remember their days in school? Especially their listening habits back then? I certainly do, back in the 2001-2005 time when emocore/rock was every little angsty teen's friend (and there were a lot of of them). Bands like Finch, Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, Saosin and others led the charge for the whole emo movement, even breaking into the mainstream on a few occasions. Times have changed a lot since then, and a lot of those bands have too. So it becomes more and more rare nowdays to hear bands like "Reluctant Hero", who on inital listen, sound like they would fit right into that whole scene with their EP "Paper Boats".

Now their somewhat corny emo name aside, this band sounds is so reminiscent of those early 2000s era emo/hardcore bands it is quite the nostalgia pill actually, since I listened to and enjoyed a lot of those bands back then. The effect is kind of short lived though because I have to be blunt here, the sound is out of date in the current climate. But that's okay provided the band can still make the songs great right? Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag to say the least. The guitars are mostly simplistic and are very cliched if not a bit too plain - a few tracks like "Defining Gravity" and "Resistence To Resilience" do manage to have a few decent riffs and arrangements though. The drumming more or less is barely noteworthy other than being nothing but staple. Finally the vocals range from mildly decent sounding to shaky and off note, there are a few screams here and there and they either sound weak or badly mixed to be perfectly truthful (the one at the start of "Mind I call Mine" comes to mind). The vocal parts overall clearly haven't received much post-processing treatment at the producing level, which while allows imperfections to surface and thereby sound a lot more real at least, makes them get in the way more often than enjoyable sadly.

Would I recommend this EP to anybody? Well, if you want to check out something that sounds like a flash in the past from your more emo teenage years (if you had them obviously) then go ahead and give "Reluctant Hero" a check out, the songs I picked out below probably being the best ones to hear first ("Paper Boats" where everything the band is trying to achieve finally comes together, sort of). But my biggest issue is that, if you needed to hear something that sounds like old Hawthorne Heights or Saosin, would you just not go and listen to those original bands instead? Just a thought.


Download: Resistence To Resilience, Paper Boats
For the fans of: Hawthorne Heights, A Thorn For Every Heart, Alt-rock/emo-hardcore
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.06.2010
Self Released

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