After fantastic Norwegian reviews for their debut long play album the young power trio Heroes and Zeros are beginning to see the first traits of international recognition too; their music and their name appearing in blogs and sites and play lists around the world.
It is no longer the case that artistic recognition is a two phase phenomenon: first conquer the domestic market, then, if you’re very good or very fortunate, move on to the international scene. At least for musicians and bands hailing from a wee place such as Norway, this was always the truth, and only very few ever made it beyond the home territory. Now geographic boundaries and delimitations in terms of market, and marketing, are in principle obliterated, and good music is caught on to the second it is released, or posted i.e. A global school of music lovers are scrutinizing the specific genres or musical terrioirs of their taste, and eagerly spread the word of their findings. For this reason Heroes and Zeros are already in touch with much wider audiences than the Norwegian, despite not having released anything -or toured- internationally yet. This synchronic dynamic obviously makes the whole thing more hands-on exciting for the band.
The decisive factor here is naturally the appeal of the music and the attitude of Heroes and Zeroes as a band: they have been aiming wide from the start and approached their song writing and sound accordingly. And to great success, for the recurring description is that an exceptional knack for crafting songs with the quality that secures wide appeal is furthered and made freshly exiting by an unpredictable sound and seemingly original musical landscaping.
In a previous portrait of the band MIC described them thus:
Wall of sound: Heroes & Zeros’ distinct sound sets them apart from most of their domestic peers with a broad sonic palette that sounds distinctly un-Norwegian featuring liberal use of distorted bass, atmospheric guitar work and instantly identifiable vocal lines. Despite being a trio, the outfit manages to conjure up a mighty sound on stage and more than one concert goer has been spotted craning his neck to search for that invisible extra guitarist or keyboardist that is nowhere to be seen.
2006 was the big happening year for the band in Norway with a string of magical performances, the release of the EP Circles, and a fast spreading rumour. They made huge imprints in the contexts they appeared, such as the music industry convention/festival by:Larm. The momentum they managed to build up is quite remarkable considering that they only formed up as a band proper in late 2004/ early 2005. 2007 has seen them continue on that course and the crowning moment was of course the release of their debut album, Strange Constellations, about a month ago.
Very seldom does one see so many critics agreeing, as with one voice, that this band is not just good, but important, because they truly manage to take the musical concept of the power trio and its rock content in a new direction. They have been likened to Queens of the Stone Age and stoner rock as well as to both youthful U2-audacity and darker aspects of the eighties. But most of all it is the fervour and zeal of the playing, and the way they still manage to open up for detail and subtleties, that has impressed.
And, as pointed out, it is not just Norwegian critics who have given the band attention. “Itsatrap”, a US based web-site dedicated to Scandinavian music, writes that: Heroes & Zeros perform with an edge that stands out. Sure, they sound a lot like Muse at times in their most energetic songs and the U2-influences is sometimes too obvious but, hey, that is in no way a bad thing. When a band can combine such influences with great songs, such as "The foolproof" and "Cellophane", a lot is won. (Jonas Appelqvist)
Needless to say, with such affirmation of the quality of the fundamental song writing, the trio must be feeling more like Heroes than Zeros, and the good thing is that it has only just begun. For like all heroes they have a singularity of mind, and with such talent to build upon, it is no telling where they can go.
Listen to Heroes and Zeros them here