Schoolyard Heroes Shows
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About Schoolyard Heroes
Sometimes, fierce entities come in unexpected packages. Right out of high school, Seattle, Washington’s Schoolyard Heroes–brash dealers of angular riffs with thematic bents that’d make Issac Asimov proud–launched their Priest construction-meets-Misfits lyricis attack on prog punk at all-ages venues throughout the ever-vibrant Pacific Northwest scene in 2003 before releasing that year’s The Funeral Sciences full-length on The Control Group label. Fronted by mercurial, beguiling 19 year-old Ryann Donnelly, an ex-musical theatre devotee teeming with preternatural savoir-faire and pipes Ann Wilson would die for, Schoolyard Heroes catapult tuneful metal intricacy to new, surprising heights. Clearly, the tension between the band’s boisterous attitude and the sheer weight of their riff heavy operatic horror rock has proved itself infectious from the get go. (“Heroes grabs at metal, punk and even opera dynamics with both hands and crosses in and out of each with gusto.”–Chico News & Review. “(Schoolyard Heroes) put on one hell of a rock show, and with their steadily growing fan base, I’m not the only one who thinks so”–Seattle Weekly) Soon after their inception, the band came in second place at EMP’s Sound Off! competition, played the Bumbershoot festival, and found themselves sharing the bill with Franz Ferdinand and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at staunch supporters KNDD’s huge EndFest fete. The Heroes wowed audiences opening for Pretty Girls Make Graves and Vendetta Red, too–all while headlining their own crowds of over 500. Donnelly has classically romanticized the curious fun of 60s pulp horror tomes and Troma films in Schoolyard Heroes’ songs, wailing, growling and crooning lines like “Check the body before it gets cold!” (from their debut’s “Curse of the Werewolf”) with piercing intensity. 2005’s Fantastic Wounds sure is a fun ride through Amityville–but it’s much more than that, showcasing a band whose driving charisma and unending creativity have continued to transcend peers since since their nascency. Building on the Mars Volta-style rock assaults of their earlier days, on Wounds, Schoolyard Heroes speed through “Thunderstruck”-era AC/DC riffs on the hyper “Battlestar Anorexia”, kill on the anthemic battle cry of “Serial Killers Know How to Party” and rip through spectral opener “Body Shots.” Just like the band’s dominating live show, Fantastic Wounds oozes with Donnelly’s raucous ‘tude, stunning style and brash confidence. Here, Donnelly channels the raging metal theatrics of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, the curious intensity of Melt Banana and the controlled acrobatics of Yes’ Jon Anderson while bassist and second vocalist Jonah Bergman, axe wielder Steve Bonnell and percussionist Brian Turner churn out the most unapologetic chops to come out of Sea-town since the Blood Brothers. At once muscular and complex, our Heroes’ compositions are as beguiling as Donnelly’s smirk, right before the band launches into their surprising rock onslaught. Look for Schoolyard Heroes as they tour in support of Fantastic Wounds throughout 2005.