House of Heroes - The Christmas Classics - EP
Release Date: November 10, 2009
Record Label: Gotee Records/Mono Vs. Stereo
I hereby delcare November 1st to be the unofficial cutoff for when you are allowed to listen to Christmas music. Anytime before that is just ludicrous and if you're not sick of it by December 26th... well, then, you and the guy behind Manheim Steamroller can live in some kind of Land of Broken Toys, where Christmas comes 365 days a year (at a price - you have to have sturdy hands in order to repair sad toys all day)! It's almost expected that House of Heroes was going to release something for the holiday season, seeing that their "Silent Night" single was such a hit with yuletiders last year (oh, and also because it is their third EP to be released this year alone). For their Christmas Classics EP, the band recorded two new holiday-themed covers to give all us snowmen and snowgirls a little festive joy when we are gift-wrapping or sledding or sitting on Santa's lap.
Normally, "All I Want For Christmas" would be a risky bet to cover. It seems ripe for cover treatment by any Disney star or electro-pop outfit, but House of Heroes actually gives the Mariah Carey cut a new life, retaining its pop core and instead pushing it to be an above-average pop-rock track (listen to how Tim Skipper can hit those high notes better than Mariah at the end). "Silent Night" is rather standard and depending on how you feel about it, this interpretation shouldn't change your mind one way or the other. The final cut, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is a distinctive reworking, still very much a spiritual rendition of a classic but with a signature touch by the band.
The most terrific thing about this three-song EP is the lack of gimmicks. Many times, Christmas songs are a chance for bands to tinker with production and experiment with presentation. House of Heroes simply rolls out the merry attitude and delivers an early Christmas gift that is sure to keep all Noels and Noelettes warm and toasty this winter holiday season. Maybe for next year's wish list, we could ask for more of this type of thing in a larger package. Think about it House of Heroes... we'll be good - we promise!