Tojo Yamamoto – “Heroes”

Kentucky-based band Tojo Yamamoto unveil an ardent, distortion-loving take on the Bowie/Eno classic “Heroes.” The delectably more intense tonal direction feels in contrast to recent depictions of the song, often portrayed in a more tender light — celebrating “heroes,” in life, or in its worst moments used by brands like Walmart as a pandemic-era marketing tool. Tojo Yamamoto effectively reclaims the song’s original spirit.

“The song was really much more of a krautrock-tinged love song,” explains the band’s guitarist Elwood Francis, who is also a member of ZZ Top. “The lyrics are about a doomed couple, absolutely destined to fail and we wanted to try and capture that downer vibe of the original.”

Larry Joe Treadway’s fierce vocals permeate with seamless cohesion amidst the sludgy distortion and ardent overall production. Additional backing vocals, courtesy of Elwood’s teen daughter Billi Francis, bolsters the gripping production further. Tojo Yamamoto’s interpretation of “Heroes” is a thematically faithful, tonally compelling success.

Check out the band’s 2023 album as well, below:

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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