Hero Kid saves the day with debut album ‘Before the Fall’

May 7, 2012

Sara Horton
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At first, I thought it was a bad idea to have anything from my music library playing in my car while my mom was in the passenger’s seat.

“Who is this?” she demanded. I prepared for the revival of our old my-music-is-just-as-good-as-yours debate, but before I could identify the band as Hero Kid, she nodded her head and said, “They’re pretty good.”

Hero Kid may well be the only melodic hardcore band that can brag about being mom approved. Don’t assume Hero Kid is a tame tea party soundtrack, though.

It’s a band that makes music better suited for defending the city from a robot invasion or pummeling the steering wheel during a summer highway drive.

Hero Kid is a Denver-based quartet composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Jake Smith, vocalist and lead guitarist Tyler Halsey, bassist Sean Beedle and Matt Heady on drums.

Beedle, a junior English major, formerly played for the indie garage band The Yes We Cans, and Smith and Heady are both from The New-Age Dropouts, a pop-punk outfit.

They have some national experience, too. Smith and Heady have played at the Vans Warped Tour, and Halsey has performed with Avenged Sevenfold and All That Remains.

Better yet, their experience is reflected in their nine-track debut album, “Before the Fall,” a solid effort. It’s always exciting to learn that a group of such talented musicians hails from just up the street.

The guitar riffs and drums are heavy, but they work together with the vocals to create an addictive rhythm and sound.

While most of the lyrics are slick, others can seem forced (“The skies are gray/Nothing more to say/You settle the score when we walk away,” Smith sings in the title track). Hero Kid could get away from using a strict rhyme scheme.

And yet, the vocals, guitars and drums blend so nicely together that you may be too busy rocking out for the excessive rhyming to even be an issue.
Halsey leads the chorus in “Wasting Away,” the perfect upbeat anthem for a recovering heart: “My fire will burn/In the dark of night, you will learn/Just take me away/From all the things we can’t escape.”

Hero Kid isn’t all angst and anger, either. Although “Before the Fall” has a loud start, it concludes gently with the fading strumming of a guitar in the last track, “The Longest Goodbye.”

It’s still infused with that heavy pop-punk spirit but also a subtle tenderness that, not unlike the other tracks, deserve to be played again and again.