Young Legionnaire – Zero Worship – Review

Alternative/Indie band Young Legionnaire and its members have been leaving their mark on the British music market for years with some hailing from bands such as Bloc Party and yourcodenameis:milo. After forming in 2010 the band quickly proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, especially during their debut album Crisis Works and now 5 years later the band have released their Sophomore record Zero Worship. Now without further ado let’s break down Young Legionnaire‘s new album, Zero Worship.
Kicking off this Sophomore album is the track Year Zero, which is a clever introduction to this album, there is no explosive entrance as there is almost a sense of calm as the band move through a track which not only showcases some tight instrumentation but also some very well constructed vocal melodies. As the track reaches it’s mid point the introduction you almost expect to come from this album moves in to the spotlight with the explosive drums of Dean Pearson and powerful bass and guitars of Gordon Moakes and Paul Mullen. The track quickly moves its way through its full run time, and shows itself to be not only a great starting track but also a promising look at what else this album has in store.
Following this energetic opener are the tracks Heart Attack and Hail, Hail which although different in execution still produce this explosive entrance that Year Zero provided. Through both tracks there is a sense that over the past five years Young Legionnaire have been preparing for this moment; waiting to come back not only sounding tighter than ever through the first three tracks but to prove themselves yet again, and with Paul Mullen’s soaring voice dancing atop the tracks there is never a moment through either of them where they don’t land almost perfectly.

Coming off the end of Hail, Hail is a trio of tracks each more different than the last. Starting off with Simone there is a slow almost Alt-Rock feel to the track with the cleverly toned guitar and backing vocals that creates a very ambient atmosphere even when the track starts to pick up towards the end and is truly a piece of music which could be played a hundred times through with each time there being something new to notice. Candidate however flips everything we had in Simone with it’s far heavier makeup, with not just the blistering guitars but also the occasional screams. The track powers to the foreground as Young Legionnaire in parts seem to tackle some quite complex rhythmic sections.
The last of these three tracks is Balaclava and as a whole it truly lives up to the notion that the band do draw from some indie influences as it feels far different to everything that else that has featured on this sophomore album so far. Despite it being a strong track, constructed beautifully and packing a punch, it’s far lighter than what we’ve heard already.
Sawn-Off Shotgun continues this Sophomore album and is unfortunately the weakest track you can find on this release due to the odd effects on the voice and it makes the track almost feel very out of place in Zero Worship as in comparison to everything else we have heard it is very inconsistent. But that isn’t to say the track doesn’t have it’s highlights with the very obscure timing and structure so there are times where the track feel to have its own identity, but sadly it doesn’t really fit with the album thus far.
You and Me counters this however, being the strongest track on Young Legionnaire‘s newest release. As this track starts to play it feels very reminiscent of the earlier Simone whilst also drawing from the more indie styling of Balaclava and truly makes for an exciting listen as the track plays through. Throughout You and Me there is a clear indication at how strong this trio are instrumentally but also vocally as the melodies on this track truly do stick in the mind well after the albums end.
As the album starts to draw to a close we get the complex rhythms of Hospital Corners and Disappear, these two tracks that on occasion even sound a little mathy in composition, truly add to the albums already strong rally of tracks, yet also start to draw the album towards a perfect close. With their musical prowess truly shining through, it is good to see how Young Legionnaire are proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with.
Closing off this new Young Legionnaire album is There Will Be An Escape Hatch and being a mirror image of what we heard on this albums opener there is a great sense of a perfect circle being drawn, not only through the tracks but through the album as a whole. As with the track’s, even slower, beginning it feels almost picturesque similarly again to Simone, yet with it’s inventive pattern and enjoyable listen it feels as if the band took all the best bits and accumulated it in to this one song which not only ends the album well but also gives a great sense as to what this band will produce in the future.
Overall this album is a very interesting listen and is something any fan of Bloc Party or even yourcodenameis:milo should check out if they haven’t heard the band before. With it’s complex instrumentation and soaring vocals the album never seems to miss a beat however, that doesn’t mean to say the album doesn’t come with issues, as there are times where it feels lack lustre and doesn’t feel as strong as it possibly could have been. Yet Zero Worship is still a great must listen from a year which has been jam packed with great music. [8/10]

Top 10 Punk Bands of all Time

This year sees 40 years since the fantastic Punk movement hit Britain. There have been many, many punk bands putting their stamp on the spikey-haired, aggressive genre.Who stood the test of time? Who were one-hit wonders? This is a list of who we think are the best 10 Punk bands of all time.

  1. Green Day

Green Day formed 30 years ago in 1986 making this year their 30th birthday. Happy Birthday guys! Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt have made Green Day a household name over the years. They have created an unmistakeable pop-punk sound that really hit its peak in the early 00s with albums Warning and American Idiot. However, make no mistake, this band had already released hit after hit before the 00s including Welcome to Paradise, Good Riddance (Time of your life) and the fantastically timeless Basket Case. Green Day have been nominated for 19 Grammys of which they won five, they have also racked up six American Music Awards and seven Billboard Music Awards.

  1. Minor Threat

1980 saw the start of many nostalgic trends that are still loved today and with them came Minor Threat. Unfortunately, the band split after only three years however achieved a lot in a little time. Their song Straight Edge was responsible for the ‘straight edge movement’. The track became a base for the movement and Minor Threat preached their own ‘straight edge’ ideals. These guys were part of the band cult that paved the way for modern day hard-core punk and their music still has a place in today’s punk music scene. They have one studio album, two compilation albums and three EPs in total.

  1. Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys formed way back in 1978 and released four albums over the course of eight years before disbanding. They are known for their epic riffs and passionate musical ability. To our luck, Dead Kennedys got back together in 2001. However, after disputes with the other members, vocalist Jello Biafra is not in the new line-up. The band saw two new vocalists come and go until Ron Greer joined the band in 2008 and is now still going strong. Dead Kennedys are keeping punks roots alive with their raw and authentic sound.

  1. The Exploited

Edinburgh’s answer to punk The Exploited are the legends behind the album Punk’s Not Dead. The band have maintained a cult following made up of mainly working class hard-core punk fans. The Exploited have gone through many line-up changes, however, vocalist Wattie Buchan has remained since they first formed in 1979. The technical music ability that comes from this band is undeniable and the fact that they have been together for all this time is testament to that. The Exploited have moved between music sounds and genres over the years but have always held onto the core punk elements.

 

  1. Sham 69

Come on! Come on! Hurry up Harry come on.
If you haven’t heard of this band, go and raid your parents record collection now. Although not as heavy as the previous bands, Sham 69 are certainly one of punks most successful bands. They formed in Hersham, Surrey in 1976 and released three albums which all reached the top 30 of the UK music chart. Sham 69 broke up in 1979 due to vocalist Jimmy Pursey going on to persue a solo career. Pursey and guitarist David Parsons reformed the band to a welcoming audience in 1987. Sham 69 are another victim of several line-up changes, nevertheless, they are still presently together and performing live shows.

  1. The Clash

Another band that formed in 1976, The Clash joined the original group of British Punk legends. You will have undoubtedly heard their biggest hit London Calling from their third album of the same name. London Calling (Album) gained the band success in the US and has been declared the ‘best album of the 80s’ by Rolling Stone magazine. The Clash gave punk fans a decade of solid and (literally) hair raising knockout tracks. Should I Stay or Should I Go, Rock the Casbah and I Fought the Law to name a few. Their music will forever encapsulate British 80s punk music.

  1. Ramones

New York’s offering to the punk scene were the Ramones – and what an offering they were. A typical case of a band before their time, Ramones achieved limited success in the late 70s. However are now recognised as a huge name in punk. Since forming in 1974 the band performed lives shows constantly for 22 years. They played a farewell concert in 1996 and disbanded with 2,263 concerts under their belts. Sadly, there is no chance for a reformation as all four original members have now died. 2011 saw the Ramones achieve the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.

  1. Blondie

Call Me, Heart of Glass and Atomic – is anymore needed to be said? Blondie have flawlessly added a mix of disco, pop and reggae to a predominantly punk base. This distinctive concoction that plays with the punk genre has firmly placed these guys in the top three. Blondie split in 1982 and re-formed in 1997 going on the achieve even more top 10 hits in the UK. They have sold 40 million records worldwide and are still touring and performing today. A truly eternal band.

  1. Buzzcocks

Buzz – ‘an atmosphere of excitement and activity’
Cock – ‘Generic term of endearment in Manchester – mate or dear’
The Buzzcocks need no introduction after forming in Manchester in 1976. They have shaped the Manchester music scene, if not, the entire northern music scene. There are nine studio albums available for the Buzzcocks to this day.

  1. Sex Pistols

Of course our number one is the Sex Pistols, who else would it be? The band formed in London in 1975 making them the oldest punk band on the list. Although the band only lasted two and a half years and released only two studio albums, they are the most influential punk band of our time. With many saying they were the reason for the punk movement in the United Kingdom. The Sex Pistols reunited on several occasions over the decades, however, have not been active since 2008.