They’re called the Half Chance Heroes — but they don’t do anything by halves.
The Red Deer punk trio is putting out a super-sized EP next month with eight songs on it.
Add only a couple tunes more and group members could have turned their Nocturnal Habits EP into a second full-length album, following the band’s debut 2011 CD, Good Intentions, Bad Inventions.
But guitarist and lead singer DJ La Grange said he’d rather put out a longish EP that’s loaded with good songs than a short album that includes a few weaker ones.
“We were going for quality over quantity. We made the best eight songs we could,” added La Grange of the EP that was created at Calgary’s Echo Base Studio.
Fans should notice a more mature sound on the new recording, which will be made available June 22 at an all-ages release party at Red Deer’s Slumland Theatre. As well, La Grange said there’s a stronger hip-hop influence, mixed with some reggae, on the punk pop EP.
The hip hop is courtesy of drummer Ryan Schultz, who raps on some tracks.
“We thought it would be good to have another element, another voice in the band,” said Schultz, who was inspired by several U.S. rap groups, including The Palmer Squares and The Roots.
He credits his strong sense of rhythm — “and a lot of practise” — for helping nail down the rap parts.
Songs include Last December, about looking back and noticing how things can change in a few months, and Dig a Little Deeper, about the frustration of “not being able to achieve the things you want, but knowing that eventually you’re going to get them,” said La Grange.
The band plans to shoot a music video for the EP this summer, but the choice of tune hasn’t yet been determined.
La Grange admitted the band doesn’t sing much about romance, since “I don’t have a lot of experience with that yet. … We’re only 20 years old and we’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do.”
But La Grange and Schultz, along with bassist Jordan Little, are committed to their music, so they hope the new EP will demonstrate how much Half Chance Heroes has grown since the musicians graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2010.
“I hope more people will take us more seriously as a band when they see what we can produce,” said Schultz.
La Grange added, “We want to show people — fans, music producers, bar owners — that this (EP) is a step up from last time. I hope anyone who listens to it will enjoy it.”
Besides performing at Slumland Theatre at 4732 Ross St. on Saturday, June 22, the band will also play at the local Canada Day celebration at Bower Ponds on July 1, as well as on the Ross Street Patio with Oldbury on July 5.
The Heroes will co-headline at the Shake the Lake Festival in Sylvan Lake on Aug. 10, and will perform at Alberta’s Own Independent Music Festival at the Daines Ranch near Innisfail on Aug. 30.
Fans who don’t mind driving further can also catch a performance at Edmonton’s The Studio on June 14.