The Real Heroes
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The Real Heroes

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"With Generous Handclaps..."

With generous handclaps and Rolling Stones swagger galore, Greetings from Russia oozes New York cool without coming off as cold and detached like the Strokes. The first word of the album - "Go!" - sets off an energy bomb that hardly flags, even when the speed slows on songs like "Adjust Your Nightmare."
- INsite Magazine - INsite Magazine

"The Jumpy Mid 70's..."

The jumpy mid-'70s Bowie-style rock on the Real Heroes' new Greetings from Russia (Rec Center) lends itself to jerky-limb dance moves, so watch out you don't elbow anybody.
- Critics Pick: Time Out New york
- Time Out New York

"Handsome Austin Boys..."

Handsome Austin boys in the Strokes-Stellastarr*- Franz Ferdinand-Killers dance-oriented-powerpop bandwagon. They draw on old garage, glam, and even disco. Which all those other bands do too, of course. One song has a neat "Western Union" - style telegraph-organ intro.
- Village Voice - Village Voice

"Real Heroes Set: Real Short Real Good"

If it's true that all it takes to play rock 'n' roll is three chords and an attitude, the Real Heroes can fly right to the head of the pack. They've got plenty more than three chords between ace guitarists Paul English and Kyle Crusham (who also plays keyboards), and as for attitude, singer/guitarist Benjamin Hotchkiss learned sass and moves from the masters: Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Other glam-rock comparisons abound, but Hotchkiss avoids over-the-top campiness (and, thankfully, capes), leaving most of the references in the music. The rest of the band is surprisingly nontheatrical, which is kind of odd, considering the music, which lends itself to a bit of posing. Not that avoiding it is a bad thing. Nothing wrong with concentrating on harmonies and musicianship; they've got depth and a willing frontman, so who needs extra distractions?
Friday night at Antone's, the band's ridiculously short, 50-minute headlining set — sans encore — was nonetheless tight and fun. Pulling tunes from their self-titled debut and "Greetings from Russia," they snuck in a little Rod Stewart (a line from "Every Picture Tells a Story"), recalled Frankie Goes to Hollywood and shamelessly stole from the Stones. They also did a fabulous, well-chosen cover of the Split Enz' "I Got You," but the Heroes don't need to rely on covers; their songs (borrowed "Miss You" riffs included) are as strong as their chops.
The band is all business — Hotchkiss said little more than "this is rather new" before performing "Making Me Sad" and didn't even introduce the band — but perhaps he's better at singing than talking. There's humor in their lyrics and delivery, the dance floor gets well-populated — groupies and all — and they rock. Even after repeated listenings, we still think the Heroes are — forgive us — super.
— Lynne Margolis - Austin American Statesman

"The Real Heroes"


Photo By Aubrey Edwards
The Real Heroes

"The record was meant to be a 'grower,' so to speak."
That's how Real Heroes vocalist/guitarist/founder Benjamin Hotchkiss describes the local quintet's year-old second album, Greetings From Russia. The dapper, articulate frontman isn't being lascivious; he's explaining how the band set out to record a tight collection of well-crafted pop songs that listeners would want to spin again and again as opposed to an artifice that gets deep-stacked after the novelty wears off.

It's been a "grower" year for the Real Heroes. Before Russia, the band spent the first half of the decade struggling to find its place on a music map defined by niche. "We were too rock for indie and too indie for rock," posits drummer Joey Spivey.

Put another way, they had crossover appeal. From "Elise, Elise," the Cheap Trick-flavored rocker that opens Russia, to the runway-ready Lou Reed/Sweet contagion, "Move That Strut," the band's painstaking diligence in putting the album together resulted in songs capable of resonating far beyond the Red River corridor.

"We decided to take it out of the normal avenues," explains Hotchkiss. "We just started playing events that your average punk band from Emo's or Room 710 wouldn't go do. It's a risk, because you could lose your crowd that way, but we've discovered that we thought we were weirder than we are."

Since making that decision, they've secured an invite to play the 2005 Austin City Limits Music Festival, played a live set on John Aielli's KUT show, Eklektikos, and garnered airplay from local rock mainstay KLBJ.

"They played 'Move That Strut' right before 'Jamie's Cryin,' so I was in heaven," laughs lead guitarist Paul English.

Outside Austin, the Real Heroes played to full houses in New York this summer after getting good ink from The Village Voice. There, the band was likened to retro-pop acts like the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. While the latter comparison in particular left them puzzled, they're not losing sleep over it.

"It seems like the key to being considered modern is to rip off someone who wasn't famous," muses Hotchkiss. "I don't know. Maybe we just like bands that were too popular."

Anyone who's followed Hotchkiss' musical development through the Duckhills and Bongo Hate can zero in on the clever lyrics and short stops that delineate the Real Heroes from the bandwagon. However, Greetings From Russia avoids the quick guffaw in favor of more disciplined songwriting.

"There's still humor in the music," says Hotchkiss, "but it's more like Ray Davies does humor."

Going into SXSW, the band's confidence has grown with Russia's gradual acceptance. English jokes that their odds "have increased by .5 percent," but the Real Heroes' cautious sense of optimism isn't a put-on.

"In a strange way, I feel kind of proud to be an unsigned band after this year with the way the album's gone," muses Hotchkiss. "It goes to show that if you work really hard on an album and make it the best you possibly can, then people might actually care." - Austin Chronicle

"Texas Platters"

Greetings From Russia You almost have to feel sorry for the Real Heroes. The Austin fivepiece has spent the past three years trying to shake the "joke band" tag hung on them (albeit perhaps unfairly) by 2000's undeniably smirky The Real Heroes. Now, Greetings From Russia comes out at exactly the same time that the hottest thing in rock is the Darkness' mock-ironic, over-the-top pomp-metal. Though both bands drink deep from the wellspring of Seventies AOR, especially Queen, the Darkness is attempting to take over the world via catsuits and Flying V guitars, whereas the Real Heroes just want to slip Bowie's Station to Station on the vintage basement hi-fi and get their freak on. They shouldn't have any problems, because Greetings is one of the sexiest, and most sexual, rock albums since the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Orange. When singer Benjamin Hotchkiss isn't instructing his female listeners to "pleasure yourselves" on the Lou Reed-like "Move That Strut," he's offering his services as an intoxicant on "Me Is the Drug" and crooning, "I love the way you touch me," on "The French Song." His bandmates likewise have their blood up, furthering the Heroes' panty-removal pursuits through eye-batting guitar solos, ribald rhythms, alluring basslines, and steamy cymbal work. Taken together, that amounts to 10 tight, riffy, combustibly catchy rock songs, most at least as radio-ready as "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." And that's no joke.
- Austin Chronicle

"The Real Heroes"

Somewhere between the beer-light bar songs of transistor radio heroes like Cheap Trick and the glam-infused uptown delivery of mid-1970s Mick Jagger, Austin's Real Heroes have constructed a well-honed pop sensibility of their own. The quintet is fronted by charismatic singer/guitarist Benjamin Hotchkiss, who first came to local prominence in the 1990s with the Duckhills and Bongo Hate. The Real Heroes formed in 2000 in the wake of Bongo Hate’s demise, the group's guitarist Paul English and bassist Kenneth Dowling joining Hotchkiss in the Heroes along with guitarist/keyboardist Kyle Crusham and drummer Brian Olamit. Their self-titled 2001 debut featured lasciviously catchy nuggets such as “Kiss the Mechanic” and “Spelunker.” Joey Spivey replaced Olamit for 2004’s Greetings From Russia. Defying the sophomore slump, the album opens explosively with full-throttle rocker “Elise, Elise” before settling into a highly stylized groove with “The French Song” and “Move That Strut.” The band amassed a respectable New York draw after garnering positive press in The Village Voice that likened them to the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. Russia enjoyed a second lease on life with nationwide distribution at Target stores in 2005. In addition to their work with the Heroes, Hotchkiss and English are members of popular 1970s/1980s cover band Skyrocket. – Greg Beets - Austin Chronicle


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...