Hero. Name sound familiar? Yeah, kinda should do. Hero is the new band featuring ex HWP’s Aimee Echo and Scott Ellis and Snot’s Jamie Miller and Mike Smith. Ok, so that’s that sorted. Next thing to do, is clear your minds of both those bands. Don’t expect this to sound like either of them or a mixture. It doesn’t. We’re going to try not to mention them ok. Instead, turn your mind to lighter, bouncier stuff. Yep, poppier. That’s right, it’s time to lay the collective angst to one side, and just step into fun. Because that’s how this sounds. It’s still got an edge to it, it’s still distinctive due to Echo’s vocals and the energy that runs through everything. But it’s augmented by massive chorus, melodies and hooks that are so big that if they were used to catch fish they’d be illegal. Close your eyes and you can see people dancing to this, instead of trying to out macho each other in the pit. I mean, I’m not overly into the lighter end of things musically, but I couldn’t stop playing this. It just creeps into the brain, sits down, says hello and stays there like it’s a resident. Because, at the end of the day, there’s a really simple thing about music, - good songs, are good songs.

I’ve heard four songs. So let’s take them in turn. Nice idea Dave. Yeah, I thought so to, thanks. First up is Gorgeous. Which isn’t lying. It is. Easily the most instant song here, it sets the tone of the material. Just wait until the chorus arrives. Second time round, you join in. It’s melodic and accessible beyond belief, indeed, the only problem with it is that it may become a little “too sweet” with time. But for now, it sounds fantastic. About half way through there’s a couple of lines which sound so familiar I guess because they sound so “right.” And you can almost feel the fun the band were having playing it. There’s also a touch of Garbage in there to my ears. But that could be because my ears are dodgy, and because Garbage are possibly the poppiest thing I listen to (well, except for the Bangles) and there just seems to be a link. Maybe it’s that both bands offer up songs that just taunt you not to singalong and join in. I dunno.

Following this is Hang On Me, which features yet another monster chorus. Slightly harder, darker and grittier, it revolves around a swirling cascading guitar riff and Ellis’ solid drumming and ends with that laugh which ended the band that I’m not going to mentions’ only album.

Flying Machine is the one track where I may make a brief reference to HWP. But it’s going to be brief. It starts off in that dreamy ethereal kind of way that Electralux started, but soon builds to another classic bridge and chorus.

Could I have taken this to far

why can’t we fly

It’s the most atmospheric of the tracks, and initially the least obvious. But placed against the other tracks, it shows a further dimension to the sound, an indication maybe to the future.

Be Mine is the final track, with a determined and defiant tale from Echo running through it, and returning again to the huge chorus and a great melody.

One day, all of this will be mine,

I won’t ever a-pol-o-gise

It’s actually become my favourite song here I think, driven by an incessent drum and high-hat beat, with lots of little things going on during that chorus as Echo provides the almost whispered backing vocals in tandem to the main vocal. Along with Hang On Me, it shows an almost anthemic side to the band.

I’ve thought of what it was that made me think of Garbage. There’s lots of little things going on in the background, backing vocals from Echo, little loops and whatever. It adds another dimension to things, and means that you hear new things each time you listen.

Yeah, I’ve made a point about those choruses, but it’s a point worth making. These are songs. Songs of a high degree. The more you listen, there is a darker side in there amongst things, buit it almost sounds like a celebration instead of resignation. It’s probably not going to change your life, but then, I don’t think it’s meant to. It’s to be enjoyed, to singalong to, to dance to. Besides, music that’s “meant to make a difference” usually doesn’t. You can’t force it, you just have to get carried along, and when that happens, that’s when it can make a difference.

These are just demo songs, yet sound fantastic. As you’ll find out when you reach the bit about DaiLo, demos can be amazing. And this is to me. But at the same time, they give the hint that it’s only begining to scratch the surface of where things are going to go. And I mean, after all, there’s a quality musical history to the band members. But remember, this is looking to the future, not to the past.

I believe a deal is close to being finalised, so hopefully it won’t be too long before something official emerges. With any bit of luck, there may be an interview next issue. There again, there may not. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I’ve got to try and set the bait for you now haven’t I?

Oh, and one final thing. Please don’t ask me for a copy of this ‘cos I’m not able to do it. I don’t like saying no to people, but I will have to. Check out the website, because some of it may become available there. It’s also the first port of call for any information on the band.


Thanks to Laura for helping me get to hear this.