If you like electric solos that swirl in your brain, zippy vocal stunts and bands with a generally cheeky aura, Xdinary Heroes are the boys to put on your listening queue. With a name tag that was initiated by the motif that ‘anyone can be a hero’, they’re the heroes that have come to revitalise the Korean rock genre. 2 years ago, they debuted with “Happy Death Day”, and it was a hit. Since then they’ve spilled out music that is ever-changing, but consistently wicked, with the occasional sucker punch to the ears (but always a welcome one).
In their latest release, Livelock, many of the songs could easily have a seat on a coming of age film soundtrack. The boys were more than ever possessed by the energy of a 00’s American boyband (later emphasised by their cover of BOYS LIKE GIRLS’ “The Great Escape” during the concert), except by swapping out side-swept bangs and flannels for something with a bit more style. Like decorating a guitar with stickers, Xdinary Heroes are collecting subgenres, showing off that they can play any vibe.
Adorably, Xdinary Heroes’ fans are named Villains, as what’s a hero without their villain? It’s apparent that the two are inseparable, as the band’s first ever show in London on the 13th November was sold out with ecstatic fans. The boys arrived on stage to the sound of never ending cheers, individually taking bows before jumping in with “Freddy”.
It’s immediately noticeable that they don’t need time to settle into things at all. The electrifying sextet feed off each other on stage, and have got the presence and confidence of a band who’s been in the industry much longer than the mere two years since their debut. Such an aura goes well with the song that their tour was named after, “Break the Brake”, which demonstrates their endless drive.
As the evening went on, the boys went on to perform other crowd favourites like “Test Me”, “Freakin’ Bad”, and “Pirates”, as well as covering “WANNABE” by K-Pop superstars and company siblings ITZY. The heroes weaved trances on the crowd with their whirring guitars and impish smiles, and we absolutely must talk about their solos. Guitarist Jun Han in particular deserves a mention of his own, as his solos had the audience hanging on his every note, and every time you thought it couldn’t get any more impressive, he added to the musical mania. It’s the fingerpicking finesse of a master player like Jun Han that makes a listener’s face involuntarily express a multitude of emotions from such electric heaven. Such sounds are simply made with love.
The boys barely broke a sweat by the end of the night: but they were certainly pumping power and fervour into every moment. Full of overflowing confidence fit for rockstars - and the talent to speak for it - it’s no mystery that they are already making waves and selling out shows. For their first world tour, that’s a pretty good start.