AWOLNATION’s Kill Your Heroes is one of those songs that tend to get overlooked because people see the title, look at the genre, and write it off as just another one of those heavy, guitar-driven alternative rock full of juvenile hate and angst, but the truth is that it’s actually the opposite.
For starters, Kill Your Heroes is synth-pop, featuring minimalist production elements instead of distorted guitars and crash cymbal-happy arrangements. The overall sound of the song is danceable, upbeat, and catchy. That’s not to say that there’s no strong emotions present – vocalist Aaron Bruno manages to show how strong his voice can be with some parts straddling the fine line between singing and shouting, all the while remaining melodic enough to still be singable even if you have no intentions of shouting.
Another aspect of Kill Your Heroes that runs contrary to expectations is the lyrics and the underlying message. Instead of a fist-pumping call for listeners to murder someone, the “Kill Your Heroes” part is actually just a figurative advice to let go of idolatry, to stop putting other people on the pedestal and instead try to reach heights on your own accord.