By Me Vs Hero
After two different versions of the same EP originally recorded in 2007, it is perhaps long overdue that Me Vs Hero are finally releasing their debut full length 'Days That Shape Our Lives'.
Opener 'Can You Count Suckers?' is an instant sugar rush of explosive riffs and a foot stomping verse with a soaring chorus. Barely 40 seconds in and you've got the first instance of gang vocals being implemented on the record, an effect that is utilised relentlessly throughout. Me Vs Hero are one of the very best when it comes to hooky gang shouts, as demonstrated by the latter song and the title track 'Days That Shape Our Lives.'
One thing that's perfectly clear is that Me Vs Hero have an abundance of energy. The opening 6 tracks are all unrelenting and sublime pop punk with plenty of breakdowns. While being fairly similar to their US counterparts in Four Year Strong, New Found Glory and Set Your Goals, the band are definitely at the head of the UK charge. Fans of the band will be familiar with 'Star Raiders and Space Invaders' and 'What Seems To Be The Officer, Problem?' Both tracks have been re-recorded and been subtly reworked and the finished products on offer here sound massive.
After the assault on the senses of the opening half of the album, the opening acoustic timbre of 'A Loss In The Ranks' rings out. It's a beautiful ballad and a tribute to Alex McCulloch, guitarist for the band who unfortunately passed away in 2008. Filled with raw emotion, Sam Thompson (vocals) sings, "We never got to say our last goodbye's" it's a feeling that anyone who has had to deal with a sudden loss can relate to, I know I personally can and it will evoke a mixture of feelings for long time fans of the band. Pop Punk bands can be very hit or miss when it comes to ballads but this is one of the best attempts I've heard.
The pace swiftly picks back up with 'My Warren Sense Is Tingling' which features some smooth popcore riffs and beatdowns. Record closer 'We're Not Going Home (We Don't Care What Time It Is)' is another song that will have crowds pogo-ing up and down in a live scenario. It's a statement of intent, as is the whole album, that this is what Me Vs Hero love doing and they plan on doing it for the rest of their lives.
'Days That Shape Our Lives' is one of my personal favourite albums of the year. It's an album with a sunny disposition, one that can be appreciated by both pop punk kids and metalheads alike. Me Vs Hero have created an album that gives them the ability to break out to a much wider audience and sincerely, they deserve it