Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Cold Hard Want

Artist: House of Heroes
Album: Cold Hard Want
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Label: Gotee Records

To anyone that has said rock music is dying, they haven't heard House of Heroes. A beacon of hope in the midst of disarrayed radio rock, Cold Hard Want strikes at a time that is crucial. After a seemingly great discography, this new album takes things up a notch (if at all possible) and really goes all out with heart and grit, a much more edgier result than 2010's summer pop rock-laden Suburba. Cold Hard Want is also the band's first album with Paul Moak (Lovedrug, Third Day, Mat Kearney), adding in perhaps some of the raw, untapped energy that hasn't been evoked from the band since moments of The End Is Not The End.

House of Heroes' flawless harmonies come into play on the opening sounds of Cold Hard Want, speaking of "A Man Who's Not Afraid," which chillingly eases into the grungy, yet fluid riffs of "Out My Way," a bold declaration of both the touring musician and the working man, intertwined in one. The hand-clapping "Dance (Blow It All Away)" strikes as a poppier, Friday night jam, in typical HOH fashion, which segues into the aggressive "Remember The Empire," the heaviest the band has ever sounded, with a section that tows the line between a hardcore breakdown and chaotic shredding, captivated by a backing chorus of "ohs."

Surprisingly enough, "We Were Giants" kicks off with programmed beats, along with breezy acoustics that flow into a perfect summertime tune, guitar solos and all. The next two tracks, "The Cop" and "Comfort Trap," are tied together with the theme of a stereotypical suburban life, what it takes to achieve that, and the dangers of falling into its comfort. The rest of the album follows with some solid, catchy tunes, such as "Stay" with its infectious vibes and "Suspect" with clever hooks and a Black Keys-esque sound. The closing "I Am A Symbol" starts out as a slow burner, which eventually bursts into an ending of both chaos and triumph.

Overall: House of Heroes have proven on every release that they will never do the same thing twice. After the poppy Suburba, the band have struck back with a straight up rock and roll effort, titled Cold Hard Want, that from beginning to end carries the listener through catchy choruses, guitar solos, and plenty of harmonies, which HoH have always utilized to their advantage. If their past releases haven't convinced you, Cold Hard Want may just be the album that shows that House of Heroes are one of the best rock bands of the past decade, hands down.

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan


  1. A Man Who's Not Afraid
  2. Out My Way
  3. Dance (Blow It All Away)
  4. Remember The Empire
  5. We Were Giants
  6. The Cop
  7. Comfort Trap
  8. Touch This Light
  9. Angels of Night
  10. Stay
  11. Suspect
  12. Curtains
  13. I Am A Symbol

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