Some bands struggle for years in the shadows of obscurity, regardless of actual levels of talent, desperately hoping that if they write some moderately catchy tunes, someone will take notice.
Hurka’s Hero isn’t one of those bands. Sure, the talent is there, but the band opts for a more direct approach toward self-promotion. Hurka’s Hero—a.k.a. Gus Hernandez—is a Claremont-based one-man rock outfit who specializes in songwriting, but not that oft-boring, acoustic-guitar-driven “songwriter” stuff that can put you to sleep. Instead, Hernandez dishes up some serious indie-inspired rock that isn’t mopey or self-important. The guy seems to actually work at crafting no-frills rock songs that are subtle and mellow, complete with sleepy, intimate vocals. Hernandez doesn’t over-season his tunes with obvious influences or try to infuse his music with gimmicks, so each song is organic and remarkably unpretentious.
We know what you’re thinking, though, because we thought it too—isn’t a one-man indie-influenced singer/songwriter outfit from Claremont just a fancy vehicle for sloppy ballads about broken hearts that were rejected by his regular pop-punk bro-bar band? Not really. The crooner steers clear of standard indie swill, offering remarkably inventive tunes that leave you wondering what obscure gems are hiding deep within Hernandez’s record collection, as opposed to making you wonder if he’s got Warped Tour potential.
As for his marketing approach, Hernandez offered to sleep with us in exchange for this write up. Sorry, Gus, but we won’t sleep with just anyone—you’ll have to buy us dinner first.
More info and song clips at www.myspace.com/hurkashero.
Attention Riverside/San Bernardino county bands and musicians (you too, Claremont, La Verne, Pomona and San Dimas)! Mail your CDs and tapes or bribery money (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to Band Of The Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.