The End Is Not The End

House Of Heroes

Mono Vs Stereo/Gotee Records, 2008

REVIEW BY: Mike Cirelli


If the anonymous pronouns used throughout this album were given names, The End Is Not The End would be a bona fide rock opera. It’s that ambitious in scope and electrifying in execution. The seventeen tightly-crafted ballyhoos on this Christian rock band’s fourth LP flit from Christ to war to love to brotherhood and often intertwine the four, like on the tender “By Your Side.” Two brothers enroll in the army together and faintly tell each other, “I’ll be by your side on the other side” before the acoustic guitar balefully fades away one refrain too early. The different themes and idylls lack the cohesion that makes a rock opera an my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 opera, but maybe such broadness keeps The End Is Not The End from becoming overblown whimsy.

“Leave You Now” shows a poppier, garage rock side of the band, not too distant from some of Phantom Planet’s best stuff. Hand claps punctuate the sloppy guitar riffs and glossy vocal harmonies. Like Green Day, House Of Heroes take a poppy approach to conceptual rock albums, and it keeps the more ambitious tracks from floating too high. Even the proselytizing bridge of “Voices” is restituted by the cutting guitar riffs and soulful background vocals.

The End Is Not The End is an unusually long album, but the songs stay consistently sinewy throughout. Small, shadowy splashes of organ peer out from behind marching snare drums on the great “Field Of Daggers” before the chorus erupts. The song sequencing is often fluent and logical, befitting the theatrical vision of the album. “New Moon” follows “Field Of Daggers” before softly dipping into the concluding track, “Ghost,” a doleful but quietly glorious eulogy to lost love.

It might be a little daunting to go through all seventeen tracks of The End Is Not The End, but it’s a record that grows prettier and better with time. Some online reviewers have overrated this album, with one especially hyperbolic writer calling it the best record of 2008. House Of Heroes are far from such acclaim, but their addition to underground pop rock is modest and memorable.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2009 Mike Cirelli and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mono Vs Stereo/Gotee Records, and is used for informational purposes only.