High School Football Heroes - Close Only Counts In Horseshoes & Handgrenades (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

High School Football Heroes

Close Only Counts In Horseshoes & Handgrenades (2004)


After a pair of demos and a split EP, the High School Football Heroes have finally managed to complete a decent half-hour of skankworthy tunes on one compact disc. Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades proves that the band is more than capable of achieving both upstroke-laced, somewhat-more traditional ska parts and halfway-punk-influenced rock with horns. Their horn usage is definitely implemented well when used. The brass opens "Beat of a Rythmless Drum" with some front-line power, while its following track, "Lost Generation," has the horn section complementing the flow perfectly, and there's a nice punch in "Black and Red." I'm not asking for a squeaky-clean sound, but the production could've served this album much better. The vocals often seem flat and the harmonizing is awkward and off-place, even though the slow-paced chant of "You break me slowly / you still control me / but I still care" in "Believer" should have any live crowd shouting every word. Whereas normally you could argue "well, it exposes their raw energy, and that's what makes it great," it seems like all their power and energy is actually buried under the monotone-like sound. Either way, this would be a better record if there was more depth in the production. For a debut, this isn't a bad album at all, but their next could easily have bolder choruses, more engaging songs as wholes, and even tighter musicianship, along with a sound quality that showcases it the way it should be shown. MP3s
A Long Look At a Short Lived Dream
‘Ultimate Album Mix' (Samples Mix)