Me Vs Hero

Days That Shape Our Lives

Written by: TL on 28/12/2010 17:31:23

Me Vs Hero are a band I noticed when they started gathering considerable praise and attention with the release of their self-titled EP, however, after checking it out, I pretty much figured the hype as being unjustified, and the band as being just another pop-punk clone with nothing new to offer. Being a super busy reviewer, I decided that writing about it was not a priority, however, it would seem that this British quintet is a persistent bunch, because it wasn't long till they brought about their debut LP "The Days That Shape Our Lives", resummoning all that mentioned hype. Cue me going "okay, okay, okay, I guess I'll better give them a review then".

The reason for my reluctance is, that while some claim that MvH deliver pop-punk "the way it's meant to be played", I would rather say that they deliver pop-punk "the way it has been played by a slab of decent bands for quite some time". Maybe it's just the fact that the band is English, and that having a decent version of these bands is unusual in their country, because with the band's sound occupying the perfect middle ground between contemporaries like Set Your Goals and Four Year Strong and sub-genre-pioneers New Found Glory, I wouldn't exactly blame Americans for digging out the "heard-it-before"-comments.

In case you don't know the drill, what you're in for is melodic guitar-work, delivered on top of fast, bouncy drumwork and complimentet by singing, the passion of which far outweighs its talent-level. You got your typical nasal youngster stretching to reach higher notes, and you got your occasional back-up vocals, which this band take from all ends of the spectrum, with both SYG-ish high-pitched backing cleans, classic hardcore-punk gangshouts as well as more modern something-core screams added on occasion. Throw in the odd breakdown and/or jump-friendly part as well as the obligatory sentimental, acoustic ballad, and it makes for a record in perfect accordance with the imaginary pop-punk manual.

So I guess you can deduct that the reason for my reluctant excitment is that there's barely anything original going on here. However, fortunately for MvH, they seem to have realised that you can still go a long way if you employ proven methods in unashamed attempts at infectious song-writing. And that aspect of the genre, these faithful few have down as well as the rest of them, with almost every track off "Days That Shape Our Lives" being at least moderately catchy.

Essentially, you can't call this album a bad one, for that, the boys are too good at putting things together effectively, and I think few people would resist tapping their feet and singing along to choruses if they gave this disc about a handful of listens or so. That's the good news. The bad news is that with so much tribute peing paid to MvH's predecessors, they still haven't found something to make their own name one for the ages. Sure, the songs on here will stick fairly soon, but I feel like they will un-stick just as soon. To me, there's something decisive missing in the personality department, and as long as that's the case, MvH have to peek out from behind their influences, rather than step up and align with them.

Download: Can You Count Suckers?; Cashing Cheques; Days That Shape Our Lives; What Seems To Be The Officer, Problem?
For The Fans Of: Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, New Found Glory, With The Punches, The Wonder Years

Release Date 18.10.2010

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