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Cinematic Americana

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Album Review

It's a simultaneously striking and awkward title — one suspects the group got it from a review somewhere (and if one is a reviewer, one worries about being the source of said phrase). This all said, Cinematic Americana pretty well accurately describes what the Little Heroes are trying to do on their latest album in part, if not in whole; heaven knows the perfectly moody cover art nails the phrase extremely well. The album itself? Most of the time there's sprightly yet emotional post-everything modern mainstream rock for the early 21st century, which is pretty much to be expected — it's functional, it sounds like something that would go over well on the radio, and whether or not it works beyond that probably depends on how often it's heard in a car barreling down the freeway. "September Falls" hits everything from Interpol-like nervousness to prom anthems via the Killers (at least before they turned into total goofs), while most of the album feels like it should be soundtracking moments on The OC, if it were still a going concern. But every so often the Little Heroes have something to offer that really does live up to both the title and cover art — "Flight Plans for Airplanes" is a sharp opening song, all calm singing, affecting melancholy and, to the song's immense credit, it has a concluding string segment that's swift and dramatic rather than an overblown wash. Meanwhile, the penultimate song "Made You" is a striking number that calls to mind the Catherine Wheel's best moments of elegant feedback apocalypse. Nothing else on the album has quite the same impact, but a song like "Come On" is an enjoyable ballad that benefits from letting the music take over for long stretches (nothing against lead singer Adam Caldwell per se, but his voice is no more than agreeable). What Cinematic Americana lacks in adventure it makes up for by being perfectly pleasant, and many could enjoy it for that reason.

Customer Reviews

Amazing record!

This record is amazing start to finish. The guitars sound amazing! The strings are perfect! I can't wait to see them live...


One of the best new albums I've heard.

this is great

they are truley a breathe of fresh air!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Not to be confused with the 1980s Australian new wave band of the same name, the Little Heroes are an emo-tinged guitar pop band whose sound is best described by the title of their debut full-length, Cinematic Americana. Two of the band's members, bassist Trevor Pawlewicz and guitarist and keyboardist Jonathan Miller, first worked together in a punk band that formed in their Pennsylvania hometown in the mid-'90s and split amicably in 1999 as Miller decided to attend to his studies. While in college,...
Full Bio
Cinematic Americana, The Little Heroes
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Customer Ratings