By the time you read this, Athens band Iron Hero's seemingly impossible-to-master first full-length effort should be wrapped, after a near two-year mini-roller coaster of revelations, revisions and recoveries (member Jimmy Taylor was almost roadkill after being hit by a car). The year ahead is a make-or-break one for the group. Here are five ways Iron Hero will work to be your top pick in 2006, according to Lawson Grice, the primary prince of the band's "airy art-pop" sound. 1) Play hard. In Atlanta, see them at Lenny's Jan. 6 or the Drunken Unicorn Feb. 25. Their site, www.ironhero.net, has more show info.2) Conquer radio. How? "Basically we're going to slut ourselves out, but in a tasteful way," says Grice.3) Get on your buddy list. "Sites like myspace.com and mp3blogs have been great for us."4) Get a little help from their friends. "We're supertight with the bands here, and we've had some good luck swapping shows with groups out of town."5) Keep growing. Work on the follow-up disc is already under way. "We're collaborating more on the next project. Everybody [in the band] brings something interesting to the mix, and all the guys are really great songwriters."