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  Different, Like Everyone Else
Artist: The Everyday Heroes
Tracks/time: 5 tracks, 16:43
Label: Independent

Indie rock is something that I'm not very familiar with. With the exception of a few assorted independent emo bands, most of the music that I normally listen to is pretty mainstream. 

Surprisingly, The Everyday Heroes aren't your typical indie band. They certainly have elements of garage rock and pop/punk in their music, which is what one usually expects from an unsigned rock group, but this band's musical scope is a bit larger than many of their peers. The Everyday Heroes add a strong dose of classic, 60's-style pop into their music, as strange as that may sound. Even stranger is the fact that they even incorporate the occasional synthesizer into the mix.

"Broken Hearted Valentine" kicks off the record with a simple, yet insanely catchy riff from guitarist Zac Szymusiak. The band obviously tries for a unique sound on the song, as they throw poppy hand-claps and punk instrumentation into their musical melting pot. Unfortunately, their attempts to create a diverse soundscape is almost totally ruined- they let their punk influences get the better of them. The whole album is just a little too sloppy and rough around the edges to really impress. Which is a shame, because the band definitely has some good ideas.

Another downside of Different Like Everyone Else is the fact that there are merely five songs. That's shorter than most EP's. With such a limited size, the CD is over before it really has a chance to get going. I realize that, as an independent band, it is hard to find the time and resources to record any music, much less a full-length project, but the fact of the matter is, this album is just too short for its own good.

The first three songs on the album, as well as the last one, "Audiac Arrest," can be hard to tell apart- they just sound too similar. "Po-Go," however, is a song worth mentioning. The song is a bouncy, fun little number, complete with Beach Boys-like background vocals and one of the catchiest choruses to come out in quite some time. It provides a good three and a half minutes of fun, and I wish the rest of the CD lived up to it.

Different Like Everyone Else has its pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, I would really only recommend the CD to fans of indie rock. Most listeners will undoubtedly find it way too unpolished and bland, but if rugged, high-energy garage bands float your boat, The Everyday Heroes is a band to look for.

Josh Hurst 4/14/2002

The Everyday Heroes, from Columbus, Ohio, play what amounts to good old rock and roll with a healthy bit of the turn-of-the-century punk attitude injected.  It's for that reason that it's not inappropriate to say that this is an album which lives up to its title.  It is different, in some respects. The Heroes have their own method of mixing early 80's rock with pop-punk. And they don't do a bad job of it either.

However, for the most part, they are like everyone else.  The album is solid, but not a standout in any way.  The whole pop-punk genre seems to be saturated, and it is hard to get past that part of the band's sound.  Sure, there are hints of the Cars and Cheap Trick in the tunes, and a not-so-veiled nod to pogo music (the song "Pogo"), but on the whole, it's basically a retro album revved up to sound like 2002.

That having been said, the band does demonstrate good musicianship-- the guitar lines and drumming, especially, are quite good in spots, and are never lame.  There is a good pop sensibility to the songwriting and lyrics, which are basically of the "boy meets girl, loses girl and cries about it in a three minute song" variety (as in songs like "Broken Hearted Valentine" and "A Girl Called Love").  That's one formula which never seems to lose its currency.

On the whole, this EP is nothing to be disappointed with, but on the other hand, it isn't exactly one that will have the masses running out to buy it. With it, the Heroes have a beginning platform on which to build future albums, and, if this EP is any indication, there is a lot of potential indeed.

Alex Klages 4/25/2002



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