Florida is quickly becoming the place called home for disastrous pop-punk bands. There’s A New Found Glory, the band loved by rock radio stations all over, which sadly tries to act like its punk while playing overly catchy music. Less Than Jake was a good, if a little too upbeat, ska band, but has lately fallen into the pop-punk trend. And now there’s Pseudo Heroes. And those guys are just bringing it down even farther.
Sam Williams, guitarist of Down by Law, created Pseudo Heroes to relieve himself from boredom in his free time. But better he be bored than me have to listen to his pathetic side project. “Hereditary Fault” has soft, uplifting guitar rifts next to a bland beat. After hearing that beat next to extremely poppy lyrics from the apparently jaded Williams, who has “seen it all” (though he sounds like he’s barely out of puberty), I wasn’t hoping for much more.
During the introduction to “I Know What You Need,” I expected birds to start singing in the background. Pseudo Heroes’ ultra-catchy beats and moody lyrics are actually in sync with today’s emo, or worse. “I Know What You Need” and “Under The Sun” would probably make the cut for a 7th Heaven soundtrack. After those songs, others on the record with a harder tune and lyrics like “Fuck you, you fucking asshole, nothing you do is right, so get out of my life” are comical.
But there is some measure of redemption. Some of the tracks, those with a guest musician, are actually good. “I Don’t Care” encompasses a slightly harder guitar and sneering vocals, while “Human Timebomb” contains metal-influenced screams and a random guitar solo that makes you thankful for breaks from the incessant whine. Since seven of their songs contain a featured member from another band, it makes you wonder if the Pseudo Heroes can even carry their own.
Most bands, even the those that claim to be hard-asses, will have one or two songs about girls or relationships. Yet, when more than half an album’s songs seem to be about that one subject, its becomes stale and boring no matter how good the vocals or music. Instead of making one long 19-song album with a majority of the songs about one thing, Pseudo Heroes should shorten it, put a little more creativity into it, and possibly open their mind to the fact that there are other things worth singing about. Or maybe, when Williams gets bored again, he should just turn on the TV or something.