Every artist comes to a point in their career where they reach an impasse of meaning: do they continue to live off the emotions they once felt, or write in the present? That's the battle one-man band Not Your Heroes fights in his latest album. Not Your Heroes stay true to self in his self-titled debut, keeping grounded in the present to make a true image of who he is.
The dynamic of Not Your Heroes is an interesting one; it's a picture of who Nicholas Shook is, but it's also a reflection of the past. Many of the songs border on punk-rock, with an angry disposition to it that seems angry at both himself and the world. Opening track 'Against The Breakers' is immediately notable for being upfront and angry, but truly honest. The anger isn't a facade to create an effect: it's genuine distaste Shook has and built a song around. It's important, first and foremost, that Shook's music is inspired by and captures emotion above anything else; 'Nothing To Do' is another testament to that, the song (which also feature's Shook's wife, Nicole Shook) becoming increasingly distraught as it continues.
The sound of the music is as important as the message behind it. While Not Your Heroes' sound is generally a punky, alternative sound, it really does compliment his objective. Not Your Heroes has a general sound of displeasure with the world around Shook, and everything in his sound compliments it. 'Thoughts and Prayers' has some great guitar work that really boosts the melodies, while at alternative punk vibe of 'One Year Nine Months' really drives a strong message home. It all adds up on this record.
Not Your Heroes stays true to self in his self his self-titled debut Not Your Heroes. It's an angry record, but at its core its one that isn't afraid to be honest to capture what truly is going on around him. There's no need to pretend to be someone you're not, and that's what really counts here.
Favorite Track: Thoughts and Prayers
Least Favorite Track: No Tomorrow
Rating: 70 / 100
Stream or buy Not Your Heroes on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: