When people proclaim that they are "not that interesting as people" so they "decided to start a band" - they somehow instantly generate enough intrigue to get our attention. With a statement like that, (their words, not ours!) it could have all gone horribly wrong for Heroes and Underdogs, but what this Poughkeepsie four-piece do otherwise in their own time really doesn’t matter; the music speaks for itself.
Vocalist Kayla Loren, has all the spark and attitude of her counterparts with her own twist, and on the Poughkeepsie scene - which has bred some of the highflyers of the genre - this is no mean feat. While it’s often not fair and frankly a little tired to bring in big names in female-fronted pop/rock by way of comparison or association, here it would be rude not to. We Are The In Crowd’s Tay Jardine makes a cameo appearance on the track 'Electric,' which acts both as a nod to the genre and their hometown as well as making perfect end to the band’s 2012 EP.
For those prepared to write the band off as riding on the success of Jardine and co, just take a listen to the five-track gem that is That’s My Name, Don’t Wear It Out – which in itself is almost impossible to wear out. Even if you try super hard. A diverse and multi-faceted first offering, 'No Evil Space Sounds' is catchy and dancey - everything you want the next big thing in pop/rock to be - whereas melodic number 'Dear Sarah, I Wish Sorry Could Cover It' is a vulnerable display of how these guys (and girl) can take it down a notch and somehow still kick ass. 'Eat A Knife' showcases Heroes and Underdogs' instrumental strength, and even though the focus inevitably tends to slant towards the vocalist in the case of female-fronted bands, tongue-tips should also make room for the names Kevin Hayden (guitar), Joe Costable (bass) and Robbie Ernst (drums).
Right now, the band are more 'underdogs' than 'heroes'. However, at a time where fresh perspective is exactly what the scene needs, we're pretty confident that soon they'll step out of the shadow of their associations and be seen as a strong act in their own right.
We predict big futures for these guys, so be sure to check them out now to help them on their way.
- Words by Claire Louise Sheridan