A Hero from a Thousand Paces - Mistakes
Record Label: 1x1 Music
Release Date: April 3rd, 2007
In this music scene, there is a sort of image continuum that bands fall along. There are some bands that are entirely music driven, with no focus on image. There are some bands that try to balance both. And there are some bands that are entirely image based and their music is secondary. A Hero From a Thousand Paces fall firmly in that third category.
This band from New Jersey is made up of former members of The Pennyroyals and Riding Bikes, but have lost any vestiges of punk from those old bands. Instead, they wear exclusively red, black, and white, along with a lot of makeup and hair gel. On their slick MySpace page, the music seems the be merely a vehicle for promotion of the band, rather than the other way around.
As for Mistakes, it starts off with what sounds like a pretty promising guitar riff. That is, until the rather weak vocals of Mark Fray set in, forcibly bringing to mind bands like Hawthorne Heights. The next three songs all feature the exact same guitar tones and uncreative, sex-driven lyrics:
System overload / surge malfunction / Aching for your love / Starved and malnourished / We've been tarnished with a kiss / There goes our precious innocence
There aren't any discernible hooks anywhere, and Fray takes on a similar cadence for every verse. He occasionally ventures into falsetto, where his voice becomes even less powerful than it already was. "Semantics" is Hero's attempt at a ballad, but Fray still delivers his lines exactly the same way as in previous songs, only this time with the aid of even higher pitched background vocals. He simply sounds bored all the time. Fray does manage to belt it out a little more in "A Hand Written Apology," but the trite lyrics of I'm sorry / I never meant to hurt you don't keep your interest.
"Close Your Eyes" starts out with an acoustic guitar, a sound much more fitted to the vocals. However, the band rushes back to their electric guitars just as the song is starting to sound good. If they hadn't followed their formula, they would have has a sweet song on their hands.
A Hero From a Thousand Paces is clearly trying to capitalize on the subset of kids who are into music to be seen, not to see. By the looks of their website, they've got dozens of these kids under their net. However, as soon as those kids find a prettier boy in eyeliner, Hero will find themselves without a fanbase and settle for latching onto the next hot trend.
Philadelphia isn't a bad song and I really don't know there this image thing came from. They were all normal dudes and then all of a sudden I saw an ad in AP Magazine and they all were wearing black shiny pants.
For Fans OfHawthorne Heights, 30 Seconds to Mars, Silverstein
You're right - the music is mostly mediocre, but their guitarist has the same nickname as my favorite Pokémon in my Diamond game, and I told him that. Sprout's a pretty nice guy...other than that, I don't really have much else to say.
the singer is actually pretty awersome. he sang for riding bikes and did a great job. unfortunately that doens't really show with this band; the music / melodies / his vocals / everything are just not there..however, their "image" is just so over killed its pathetic. i'm kinda surprised everyone else realized this, a few months ago i thought people were going to hype this crap up.
this band lost all decency when Jose and Matt quit 2 years ago...Jose now plays for Houston Calls for those who care
Agreed, I don't remember them like this at all. Then all of the sudden they're doing this and they're doing that and making moves. I remember a band who used to play in West Chester and had integrity. Now I see a bunch of dolled up clowns reminiscent of 80's Hair bands.