EVERYDAY HEROES – A Tale of Sin & Sorrow

EVERYDAY HEROES - A Tale of Sin & Sorrow
  • 9/10
    EVERYDAY HEROES - A Tale of Sin & Sorrow - 9/10


Label: Own label
Release date: June 5, 2020

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It’s possible to get a false impression of the history of Welsh music. Contrary to myth it’s not just populated by opera singers and white-soul boys. There’s also a noble lineage of rock bands that includes Man, Budgie, The Alarm and The Manic Street Preachers to name but a few.

That said, it’s unlikely that many of their albums have occasioned the release of PR that, in true prog-rock style, details the elaborate concept behind the music. The accompanying bumph to Everyday Heroes’ “Tale of Sin & Sorrow” is a different matter. It tells of the central character, “Texas Red”, as we journey with him through “particular moments on his pilgrimage, like the scattered pages of an old journal, as he attempts to reflect and atone for a sinful past.”

Such lofty ambitions would normally be consigned to the mossy underbelly of the 1970s. However, this Newport-based four-piece have delivered an album of intensity and panache that quickly dispels the idea that picaresque musical adventuring is always bunk.

For a start, the narrative shell never gets in the way of the fun. Hard rocking opener “Texas Red” introduces our hero with a compelling slide riff that quickly evolves into a hooky blues breakdown. If there’s a sniff of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” in its urgent patterns, it hardly seems to matter. In amongst the tight but loose din kicked up by skinsman Jay Haines and guitarist Daniel Richards, lead vocalist Luke Philips’ rasping, 40-a-day voice soars with remarkable maturity.

Second track “Find My Way” locates a signature riff somewhere near Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”, as Texas Red starts to reflect on his selfish tendencies and look for hedonistic ways to suppress them. A slippery slice of bluesy bombast, it sets the tone for the next couple of tracks. But it’s when the album opens out to explore different sounds that the band really start to hit their straps. Standout track “The Crow”, a meditation on the role of fatherhood, makes liberal use of acoustic textures. The steel-strung verse is superbly complemented by a guitar solo as lyrical as anything found this side of David Gilmour, its mournful sweep capturing something of the yearning reflected in the lyrics.

As befits the monomythic concept at its heart, the story of Texas Red concludes with two tracks uniting themes explored throughout the album. “West of Forever” is a no-prisoners rocker with a matador-brass ending that earns additional points for innovation. It’s a perfect warm up for the ‘Christ in the desert’ theme of final number “Without a Throne”. Here, the meditative clean-picking contrasts superbly with a riff-heavy, epic chorus that melts to a melancholy conclusion.

As with many “genre ideas”, the use of narrative in rock and roll will encourage the cool brigade to glance up from their shoes just long enough to raise an eyebrow. It’s doubtful that this will bother Everyday Heroes. For this is a record of remarkable maturity and power that bears repeat listening. That they have produced enough great songs to sustain interest in the concept is a remarkable achievement that points to a very bright future.


  • Dan Whittle

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been a music fan since his mother introduced him to the piano at the age of 5. That she introduced him is no real guide to whether he could play it, "as anyone who had the misfortune to hear my hamfisted plonking would readily testify," says Dan. Abandoning his nascent career as a pianist, he turned, instead, to listening to as many albums as he could lay his hands on. The first, halting steps, were of the novelty record variety; but gradually he found his niche. After a brief, abortive flirtation with indie, he heard Clutching at Straws by Marillion and that was it. These days his tastes are on the catholic side, but whiling away a few hours listening to ambitious guitar music (especially of the progressive variety) is still amongst his favorite activities.   Oh, and if anyone's wondering, he did learn the piano and the guitar in the end...

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