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]