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This Legend - It's In The Streets

AKelly   (133 reviews)

Posted: 01/10/2015 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

This band has been on my radar for a little while, ever since they released a music video for "Holiday From Crazy." I wasn't blown away by it, but I thought it was a cool pop rock/pop punk song that was catchy enough with solid instrumentals, great vocals with exceptional drumming and groove. I didn't realize it until just now writing this review, but the drummer in this band is Longineu Parsons (more commonly known as LP), formerly of Yellowcard. Fellow ex-Yellowcard member Ben Harper also is a guitar player in This Legend (I believe the Yellowcard song "Five Becomes Four" was written about Harper leaving the band). Even though 2/5 of the band are ex-Yellowcard members, you wouldn't know it as far as their advertising goes which I respect. It seems like they really want this to be their own band without throwing terms like "supergroup" or "featuring members of..." on it. Lastly, I wanted to point out that This Legend doesn't sound like Yellowcard if that's what you're thinking. To me, they blend a good dosage of late 90s/early 2000s-era pop punk and a more modern pop rock/pop punk influence to comprise their sound.

The first thing you'll probably notice in "Lyrics With My Pen" is the incredible drumming from LP. I'm not saying the other members aren't good musicians-quite the opposite actually, as I enjoyed every member's performance-but the sometimes predictable pop-punk chord progressions are given new life with complex rhythmic patters fueled by LP. His sense of groove is immaculate and the fills he puts in towards the end are just ridiculous. "Feeling Like I Should" is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It's much slower than the album's exciting opener, but retains an energetic and insanely catchy pop-rock sound that reminded me of "Based On A True Story"-era The Starting Line. The chorus was one of the memorable on the album and is bound to be a crowd-favorite live. I also loved the open-string lead line and the screaming single-coil guitar solo. The title track "It's In The Streets" also reminded me of The Starting Line. To me the vocalist has a similar range and sometimes even chooses similar melodies to Kenny. This is a huge compliment, as The Starting Line is still one of my favorite bands. This is another slower song but the bridge builds up the energy and momentum into beautiful lead guitar lines. As I mentioned before, I've heard "Holiday From Crazy" before thanks to the music video the band released. It definitely has a different feel than the other few songs I've mentioned. It's much more up-beat than the previous tracks which is a nice change of pace. The bridge to this song was my favorite one the album, as it's probably the most aggressive the band gets while still retaining a hook. It features a mosh-worthy rhythm laid down by LP with a beefy chord progression matched with shouted vocals reminiscent of A Wilhelm Scream or The Flatliners.

This is a pop-punk band after all, so of course they have to mention their hometown. Well, they covered this cliche with "My City." As much as the lyrics are hackneyed and unimpressive, I love this song instrumentally and vocally. I find myself singing along solely on the fact that the vocal melody is so memorable, the lyrics are quite the opposite: "From now on, erase the hate cus boy it aint pretty on you in this place my city." There's also another extremely simple but effective guitar solo that builds into a gang-vocal and bass-driven last anthemic chorus. If this had been a 5-song EP, I would've been ready to give this a really high score. The band doesn't re-write the books by any means, but this a very enjoyable release. That said, the album gets weaker as it goes along. Sure, the songs are well-written pop punk songs-but that's all they are. It loses its taste after a few songs and after a while it's almost too much to listen to. I didn't really find anything worth mentioning until the second-to-last song "Get Fast." There's some really interesting non-diatonic melodic choices that perked my ears up instantly. "Josh Lights A Fire" also shares some melodically interesting ideas and is one of the most energetic songs on the album. It fits as a great closer. That said, a few songs in there like "Skin and Bones," "Life Pushes Hard," and "Moving On" don't really do anything for me. Perhaps this is because the first five songs were so great these next few songs didn't hit me as hard, but I think this would've been a much better release had it been released as an EP.

Overall, this is an enjoyable release. Although some of the songs were weaker in my opinion than the first five, as a whole this is a good album. If I'm completely honest, LP's drumming makes up for the fact that the songs aren't as strong. His sense of rhythm really gives the songs a flavor that wouldn't be there if they had an average drummer. If you're into bands like The Starting Line, Man Overboard, or State Champs you should check these guys out. I think they have a good combination of older influences and newer sounds that will be able to capture the attention of new and old pop punk fans alike.

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