I’ll always be baffled why rock band House of Heroes wasn’t one of the worlds biggest bands. After the masterstroke 2008/2009 album of The End Is Not The End, they should have been on some of the biggest stages, on late night t.v., world tours etc. Was it Gotee Records biggest marketing flub? Was it a product of them starting in Christian music? Or perhaps it was just bad timing in the music industry? I don’t know but it’s still an outright crime. If memory serves there wasn’t even a physical release of TEINTE for over a year. Why?!!?
Anyway, the band is fantastic, certainly worthy of any and all accolades, and if you’ve never heard of them or given them a deep dive you absolutly should. Vocally they are reminiscent of the blend of The Beatles, and musically there are many influences, with Queen and Muse being prominent ones. As I was sorting through the possible artists to write about in this twenty part series they were an easy pick to include, but this has been one of the hardest lists to finish. Each time I thought I had my Top 20 songs nailed down another one would grab me that hadn’t before, especially the lesser-known tracks. Here’s my final stab, and I hope that like me, as you listen through their catalogue you grow a deeper appreciation for a truly amazing band.
Onward! Here’s my Top 20 Songs of 20 Artists for House of Heroes…
20. “Matador” – Colors (2016)
The fast and ferocious finish is my favorite part of this strong rocker. This one reached out and grabbed me on my most recent listen.
19. “The Worst Kind of gods” – Smoke EP (2014)
Aggressive guitars that build and build the intensity all the way through the end without relenting, make for a fine tune to turn up loud.
18. “Comfort Trap” – Cold Hard Want (2012)
Anger directed toward the lie of the “American dream” of comfort and “financial security” (whatever that is!) set to blistering guitars and a pummeling bass line. Bone-rattling and convicting.
17. “Remember the Empire” – Cold Hard Want (2012)
An inspirational, driving rock song with a gentle breakdown that builds back upall the while slamming you with a wall of guitars and gang vocals? Yes please.
16. “God Save the Foolish Kings” – Suburba (2010)
This song paints such a vivid picture of young angst. I love the contrasting female vocal from Stephanie Smith and the gang vocals. Probably should be higher on the list.
15. “Ghost” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
Hauntingly beautiful ballad with a gentle country shuffle left as a warning of how our choices affect those we love.
14. “Buckets For Bullet Wounds” – Say No More (2006)
Longer tenured fans of the band would likely place this one higher. A terrific song nonetheless. Just when you think they’ve established the groove early on they switch it up and keep you guessing.
13. “Pioneer” – Colors (2016)
Guitars, guitars, guitars!
12. “Relentless” – Suburba (2010)
A huge cinematic opener from what would have been their best album if it weren’t for its predecessor.
11. “By Your Side” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
Another in a long line of excellent balladry from the HoH boys.
10. “Salt in the Sea” – Suburba (2010)
Acoustic, gentle, and beautiful.
9. “If” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
It’s a cheeky and fun tune, easy to sing along with. The almost doo-wop breakdown is definitely my favorite part.
8. “So Far Away” – Suburba (2010)
Gorgeous vocals reminiscent of The Beach Boys kick things off and are my favorite part of this one.
7. “Lose Control” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
Love the punk attitude, soaring vocals, and hard charging guitars. Another 5 star song on an album chock-full of them.
6. “Independence Day For a Petty Thief” – Suburba (2010)
A face-melting rock tune full of explosive guitars and wailing vocals.
5. “Touch This Light” – Cold Hard Want (2012)
Driving rock tune with gang vocals that take it to the next level.
4. “I Am a Symbol” – Cold Hard Want (2012)
I’n a sucker for a slow-burn closing song and this one strikes all the right feels for me. I still think it’s their best album ending song.
3. Serial Sleepers” – Say No More (2006)
More Beach Boy-like harmonies in the mix on this one.
2. “Code Name: Raven” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
He only other song that could be there number one, “Code Name: Raven” is another huge sounding song where the backing vocals shine through and the loose concept of fictional world war era spy crops up. Favorite lyric is “I’d rather die than live without mercy and love.” What a great line, and even life motto.
1. “In the Valley of the Dying Sun” – The End Is Not The End (2008)
This epic should be mentioned right up there with the likes of the iconic songs of all-time. Yes, it’s that good. Loosely using the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel for a blessing, with the backdrop of the World War II era spy, a full on story of conversion is told in the 4:33 runtime. Musically the tone, tempo, and time signature shifts to reflect the lyrics is an absolute genius way, keeping the listener on their toes and engaged. Great song!
What about you, what are your favorite House of Heroes songs? List them in the comments and if you enjoyed the read, or any of the other Top 20 Songs of 20 Artists posts please tag others and pass them along on your socials!
Listen along in Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3bk3PemfRpgpZTOlHH9BPZ?si=-93LaiaqRNqOiveZrrjimQ
Or here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0kFF2tW8BWPVgkVSk8dJrJYBMrSl7BBc
Happy listening! – Josh
Yes, House of Heroes definitely deserved to be more widely known! I’d have to spend time listening more closely to their other albums before posting a list, otherwise it would be mainly tracks from TEINTE – what an incredible album. Colors has been really growing on me recently, but I’ll need to listen more closely to Suburba again since I don’t remember too much about that album. Some albums suffer from having to follow up something that blew me away (I call it armistice syndrome based on Mutemath’s second album) usually after a while I go back and realise, hey, this is really good in its own right!
I can already say with confidence that my favourite song won’t change though. If you ask me to name the best epic rock saga in the history of music, I’d say “Bohemian Rhapsody”, closely followed by “In the Valley of the Dying Sun” – thinking of it now, they actually make for an interesting comparison thematically (does nothing really matter in the end, or are we living to shine on?)
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