Pop Life

Heroes Hip Hip Hurray: Was Tina Turner Right?

Heroes Hip Hip Hurray, Heroes Hip Hip Hurray


In rock and roll, the concept of a "hero" has always been lyrical fodder. John Lennon and David Bowie both voiced our yearnings for fearless ones who fight injustice in the open or just suffered quietly in their own futile way. KISS lamented "A World Without Heroes" on its Music From The Elder concept LP.

Jim Morrison once told an interviewer, "A hero is someone who rebels or seems to rebel against the facts of existence and seems to conquer them". Heroes do not call themselves heroes, they are revered by others and that title is thrust upon them, with many heroes shunning or downplaying the honor.

Humble - as in the suburb, not the adjective - pop-funk group Heroes Hip Hip Hurray, bypass all that and instead proclaim themselves heroes. Its sound is a sort of an Afro-punk thing, not unlike the Rapture or a more organic LCD Soundsystem, but with a slightly more sinister tinge. Even the longish name evokes the indie-funk aesthetic, albeit you would be hard-pressed to find Simian Mobile Disco or Chromeo lugging around a huge costumed St. Bernard.


"Heroes Hip Hip Hooray"

These Heroes spend so much deifying themselves as protectors of humanity you get the feeling maybe their need for recognition became too much and they decided to "fake it till they make it." HHHH display an air of half-disgust for those who fail to immediately recognize their acts, going so far as recording their own theme song as their debut album's title track.

Not finding the praise they thirsted for, Heroes decided instead to make everyone a "hero." Even if it was just helping your mother with groceries or assisting a sibling with tying a shoe, like on the hooky and unsettlingly cult-like "Who Wants to Be a Hero?"

HHHH consists of costumed civil service members, confusing matters even worse. We have a park ranger, a Coast Guard member, a police officer, a nurse and a firefighter. In our post-9/11 world, when humble law enforcement and medical officials found themselves lionized by the media, it's awkward to find a Coastie and a cop coming out and seemingly grasping at the title.

This is evident on "Five Heroes," where the group in a sense finds themselves recounting their acts and deeds, while reiterating who they are, as if we would forget. Even Ranger Rita's sultry Bette Davis-style vocals can't mask such rampaging egos. - Craig Hlavaty

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray