The Promise Hero
Wait for the Sun
The Promise Hero aren't a bunch of emo pussies; on their full-length debut, they're barely emo. Still, they are close. Singer Bobby Vaughn is certainly in touch with his feelings on tunes like "Why My So Jealous," though the infectious acoustic romp radiates more wit than misery. Stopping short of whining, he wonders, "What's the point in life when I never live?" on "Am I Listening" in a voice that's nasally but resonant and powerful. But when Vaughn is joined by guitarist Daniel Weiss and bassist Jeff DiLorenzo, the harmonies are so clean and super-shiny, they'll burn your retinas. Perky and melodic, "It's Been Too Hard" could have escaped from the '60s but still sounds contemporary, thanks in part to buffing by producer Jamie Woolford (the AKAs, Punchline). A handful of acoustic songs firm up Vaughn and Weiss' cred as songwriters, but the band's two- and three-minute electric power-pop blasts - powered by drummer Frank Fini - are what really suggest the band could be headed for venues bigger than the Grog Shop. One real gripe: Weiss' less-is-more solos aren't enough. - D.X. Ferris The Promise Hero performs with Wake Hollywood and Anafair at 6 p.m. Friday, October 24, at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $10.