I hear all the time that rock is dead, that its time has come and passed. I was starting to buy into that notion with all these sub-genres like post-rock and post-punk, whatever that even means, but after spending a few days with the guys from Heyrocco you can lay all that bullshit talk to rest.
I will start out by saying that I am unabashedly an Alt/Grunge-Rock junkie, have been since 89, so my opinion may be a tad biased. I spent my troubling late teen years listening to brooding and dark music like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. I fed off the mentality that it was me against the world, that it was okay to be who I wanted to be despite anyone else, and it served me well for a long time and to an extent, still does today.
Enter; Heyrocco, a trio of childhood friends out of South Carolina who bring a passion and real knowledge of the bands that paved the way for them to come to NYC. Originally, I was to attend a Charged.fm live acoustic video taping session as a music fan but as soon as lead singer/vox Nathan Jake Merli sang I was hooked. After their video taping I offered to take a few shots of them out on the deck as I respected the music and it turned into three days of fun including a photo-shoot around Brooklyn and in the subway, hanging out on a roof the following evening in midtown and most importantly; a sizzling set at Union Pool the third night.
After having the opportunity to get to know the guys I was more than excited to see the full electric show at Union Pool and they didn’t disappoint. Their short but sizzling set started off with a nasty drum solo from percussionist/singer Taco Cooper that transitioned to flannelled bassist Chris Cool and Merli ambling onstage and jamming right into their hit single “Melt”, which can be seen here in this killer video. The rest of the set was carried by sizzling guitar work that melded perectly with the thundering bass and perfectly timed drum fills. There was no shortage of energy as Merli was a blur jumping and rolling around the stage while wasting the crowd away with his intelligent, but in your face lyrics. Heyrocco isn’t duplicating what those bands did back in the 90’s, just taking a lesson from the greats and adding their own style and flair that makes it fresh, but still dirty.
The show went by too fast – I wanted more – wanted to feel like I was an angry teen for just a little bit longer but the night ended with high fives, hugs, and knowing that rock is not dead. It’s being rebuilt by bands like Heyrocco right beneath our noses.
Article by: Shayne Hanley