Describing a person who writes and performs music as a ‘hero’ is preposterous. Music can give us pleasure, for sure, but has it ever thrown itself over a grenade, saved a family from a burning building, or even defeated Lord Voldemort? No, music cannot do these things. Why people worship Dave Grohl for putting out record after record of mediocre radio-friendly rock, or call Hendrix a ‘guitar hero’ I do not know. So it is with pleasure that we present you with a band who have no desire to be fawned over, and as such have named themselves We’re No Heroes.
Their first rehearsal took place during the summer of 2009 in – bet you didn’t see this coming – Chicago, where drummer Luke was living at the time. This led to the cementing of the main musical ideas behind the band: an intertwining of melodic guitar and bass lines set to indie-dance drum beats, while each of the non-Heroes – Luke plus guitarist Tom and bassist Dewey – assumes vocal duties. As such, their rejection of the rock-star system is reflected in the band dynamics: there is no frontman here. By sharing the vocals WNH take responsibility for their output as a group.
Inevitably the band’s sound is often compared with fellow math-rockers Foals, but there’s also a touch of Manchester to WNH. The dark, industrial feel of Joy Division and the more up-tempo post-punk of A Certain Ratio can be heard in songs such as ‘Life Out Loud’: the reverb-heavy guitar hangs high over the disco rhythm section, leaving a cavernous and atmospheric space for the vocals to fill. It’s an anthemic but unsettling song, danceable but contemplative. Meanwhile the cold synths and sparseness of ‘February’ brings to mind the darker moments of Klaxons, and the stop-start feel to ‘Aviator’ shows a more experimental side to the band.
June 15th sees the release of WNH’s second EP Quiet Colours, the title of which is said to reflect the personalities within the group; meek in everyday life, but a powerful force onstage (much like Clark Kent: perhaps they are heroes after all.) The band whittled the four song set down from eight potentials, determined to construct a strong, coherent record which retains the individuality of each of its component parts. The release is celebrated with a show at Gwidhw on the same day: until then you can download their EP Crossing Over from werenoheroes.com, and follow their twitterings @werenoheroes.
Words: Joe O’Connell