Hopeless Heroic - 'Mechanical Lions' EP (Hopeless Heroic) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Saturday, 14 November 2009 16:17

hopeless1"Fusing the disparate elements of Muse, Mozart and Metallica with the pump and grind of Hip Hop" - while that statement may not have been a checklist of all my favourite tastes in music, it certainly contained enough aural question marks to cause my interest in Hopeless Heroic to pique.


It appears that one of the main reasons for quizzed expressions and raised eyebrows in regard to this new and, frankly, exciting band from Scotland is that they house within their ranks a "rock-fuelled violin player." The only reason that this fact should become any kind of issue is because the inclusion of this unlikely - in standard rock territory at least - instrumentation actually takes this band's sound to another level. The opening track of this EP, the title track 'Mechanical Lions', throws the genre-blurring sound in your face before second track 'Guinea Pig Syndrome' uses the violin to jaw dropping effect in a song that has a million twists and turns and a venus fly trap of a hook.


The Hip Hop influence is perhaps at its strongest on 'Blindly Apparent', a song that seems to effortlessly segue from genre to genre yet all the while remaining soaked in infectious commercial rock waters. There's more than a hint of Lostprophets in some of these tunes but, seeing as that highly successful troupe of Welsh wonderboys seem to have pretty much perfected that huge commercial sound, that can only been seen here as a compliment.


The secret, for me, to turning heads in this business (yet keeping at least a spattering of credibility) is to wrap a universally-accepted sound in something different, something that puts your band head and shoulders above the crowd of copy cats, plagiarists and faceless friggin' wannabes. Hopeless Heroic, thanks to that violin player, have an angle, a spark, a sign of life in a business in a coma that provides them with truly genre-hurtling capabilities.


The band's forthcoming debut album, while being a stand-alone project, also acts as the soundtrack to frontman Gavin Bain's book California Schemin' which, before its 2010 release, already finds itself being adapted for the big screen by Irvine Welsh. On the strength of this EP, the band deserve to be filed under 'Ones To Watch.'