Hell Is For Heroes - The Neon Handshake

Named after a movie starring the late great Steve McQueen, Hell Is For Heroes is a great escape for rock fans who'll be pleased to know that two members  (Will and Joe) of the band were previously in indie underachievers Symposium. The band unfortunately have a frontman with one of the least rock & roll names in music history - Justin. Hardly a name which conjures up images of the spawn of Beelzebub. More like an ex-public schoolboy who is now a financial accountant than the frontman of a the latest Brit Rock Sensations. Christian names aside, Hell Is For Heroes have toured with Hundred Reasons and played with Alien Ant Farm for the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th. "The Neon Handshake" is their debut album and rather good it is too.

"Out Of Sight" stays true to the rock template with thrashy guitars and shouty vocal chord shredding roars though the chorus is influenced in part by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's not exactly what you'd call the melodic end of rock music, but still it's far too polite to be in the category of Bezerker. "Few Against Many" gradually builds from a mellow acoustic intro with sensitive lyrics in the best nu-metal tradition and ends with a riff that is pure Led Zepellin by numbers. "I Can Climb Mountains" is both catchy and immediate and has real commercial potential and like Symposiums career is short and sweet.

Out previously "You Drove Me To It" is re-released again early in the new year and is equal to anything released by Papa Roach or Limp Biscuit while final track "Retreat" recalls Nirvana at their most angsty. With the lyric "If you don't care, don't panic" Justin bares his soul and brings truth and honesty to an emotional song. It's atmospheric, meaningful, rocky and emotional. Watch Hell Is For Heroes fly the flag the same way Hundred Reasons did for UK Rock last year!!!

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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