On Heroes and Villains, Paloalto work with the post-alternative mix found on their self-titled debut for a glossy sophomore finish. Singer/songwriter James Grundler is more personal and thoughtful, not overly gushing or sentimental, and regardless of the title, Heroes and Villains is not glutton for sorrow. Having Rick Rubin as a producer is an interesting choice, but his talent for polishing up a band's imperfections works in Paloalto's favor. He zeroes in on the band's crunchy, quick riffs and Grundler's commanding vocals, and songs like "Fade Out/In" and "Last Way Out of Here" capture the band's earnest effort. Finding out who you are and accepting it is thematic throughout Heroes and Villains, particularly on "Running Home" and "Going Going Gone." Those who appreciate an honest, basic record will enjoy Paloalto's simple approach. Sonically, they don't venture out and that's okay. Paloalto like to play it safe.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson