Falling Further Underground
As the music scene continues to rise in Phoenix, AZ, Lesser Heroes is quickly becoming recognized with listeners of all ages. Catchy, melodic rock songs, driving guitars and passionate female vocals is a hard combination to resist. And let's be honest here - who doesn't enjoy the contrast of four guys and a girl? But you should hear her sing. Ree Boado's feminine voice brings a supple twist to the band's sometimes hard, driving guitar, bass and drums. But even so, Boado's vocals are just as edgy as her personality and presentation - a trait apparent in the band's debut EP, Falling Further Underground. Lesser Heroes includes guitarist Carlos Lugo, drummer Matt Davis, bassist Johnny Estrada and guitarist Matt Bopp. The members, ranging in age from 22 to 28, all bring their own background and influence to the 1-year-old band. Boado recalls soul music as one of her largest influences, while jazz fueled Estrada as a child. 'My parents were ministers, so the only edgy music I could hear was jazz,' Estrada says. His involvement in church was his first taste of performing music, he says. 'The church's bass player stopped going, and one weekend my dad made me learn, like, 15 hymns,' Estrada says, laughing. But he's thankful that he stumbled upon the bass guitar. Lugo says he is into mostly modern British rock like Coldplay and Keane, while Davis comes from a metal background. 'We all come from such a wide variety of musical likes and dislikes and different cultures,' Davis says. This mash-up of styles gives Lesser Heroes a somewhat different sound than most bands have been producing. They have a mixture of the current popular styles, ranging from upbeat pop rhythms to more serious, metal-influenced breakdowns. 'If you heard us on the radio, you wouldn't confuse us with anybody else,' Lugo says. This is also partly due to Boado's contribution of the often-underappreciated female vocals, which she says, 'brings a softness' to the band. But because of this, Lesser Heroes has been compared to groups like Evanescence, The Cranberries and Gwen Stefani, which makes Boado laugh. It's probably the blond hair. 'When you're female-led, people will throw out any band that's female-led,' she says. But they're willing to deal with the slightly-off comparisons. 'There's something cool about writing music with heavy guitars, driving bass and heavy drum beats while also having that soft, melodic singing,' Lugo says. SENSE OF SOUND: Lesser Heroes Falling Further Underground All of the songs present a slightly different side of Lesser Heroes, allowing the listener to feel as if the CD isn't the same song five times over. The band's single, 'Here's to Hoping,' provides a poppy, alternative rock vibe that most would enjoy, while 'Midnight' is more metal-influenced. The style of music isn't necessarily earth-shattering or ground-breaking. But it isn't generic either. Like guitarist Carlos Lugo mentions, one won't confuse Lesser Heroes with any other band. -Celeste Sepessy, Reporter for Arizona State University.