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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heroes - Hello > Hello

Heroes - Hello > Hello
2010, Vagary Music

Heroes singer/songwriter Jeff Hemmelgarn decided that he only wanted to record songs that felt important to him. Taking that philosophy into the studio with producer Joe McGrath (Green Day, Blink 182, Morrissey), Heroes used no vocal effects or manipulation in the recording of their debut EP, Hello > Hello. The result is a sparkling EP of four songs with the weight of honesty and a melodic sensibility drawn from the great bands of the British Invasion.

Hello > Hello opens with "Come Undone", a soaring anthem about a loved one whose mind is slowly slipping away and the process of dealing with that slow, insipid loss. Hemmelgarn's vocal is impassioned but under control; a powerful yet measured performance that stands out in the middle ground between pop histrionics and shoe gaze minimalism. "Boy Wonder" explores the effects of a family falling apart and the effects it can have on the children involved. "Boy Wonder" seeks the hope of tomorrow by reminding that the joys of yesterday are not all gone. Hemmelgarn shows impressive range in reaching for the heights in a powerfully emotive chorus. "Go Back The Way You Came" is a song of goodbye to a loved one; a reckoning on the doorstep of death that will carry a lot of emotional weight for those who have lost someone dear. Hello > Hello closes with "You Run Me Over", a song admonishing a young woman in an abusive relationship to choose another path. There's a passive urgency here that's compelling, perhaps based in the idea that to push too hard will push her further into the trouble she's in.

Heroes are on to something here. Hello > Hello perhaps implies simple greeting, but the theme of the EP is hope for a better tomorrow. Jeff Hemmelgarn has voice you could listen to all day long, and the rest of Heroes build a solid web of music around him on each of the four songs presented on Hello > Hello. This is mature pop music for listeners who love great melody and lyrics that tell a story while they touch your heart.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Heroes at or Hello > Hello is available from as either a CD or Download.

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