Album Review: Oui Legionnaires – It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got (So Shut It)

‘It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got (So Shut It)’ may be a mouthful of a title, but there’s nothing stodgy about this five-song EP.

Brief, punchy and filled with plenty of off-kilter hooks, Oui Legionnaires have delivered a svelte, perfectly formed EP which leaves you wanting more but gives you the ideal taste of their emo/math pop crossover sound (or self-styled ‘yelpcore’ if you prefer).

It also gives you a flavour for their theatrics. The opener clocks in at barely 45 seconds yet is blessed with a ridiculously long title – ‘Dear Charlie, please write a hilarious title for this song, lots of love Chris’ – showing the group’s playful nature. That it really serves as a prelude to the rest of the EP is also a brave move, meaning nothing of real note happens until well over a minute in – and then ‘Flat Peaks’ thunders into life. It’s a brilliantly paced opening but it shows the success of not throwing everything into the first couple of songs.

After that, there’s barely a pause for breath. ‘Fuck You Nottingham’ takes its cues from the classic jangly emo sound, albeit with a British slant. It sounds all the better for it too, while ‘Aimee Hooper’s M4 Party Express’ shows the group’s intricate guitar-work and strong vocal interplay off to its best. It perhaps helps that the gang vocals remind me of Soul Asylum circa ‘Hang Time’ too…

The song which best pulls together all of the different sides to their sound is ‘Million Dollar Shark Punch’. Breezy and accessible, it’s gorgeously layered but still has sufficient bang and oomph. While it might be reminiscent of the likes of Dartz! or Johnny Foreigner, it’s still packed with personality that is unmistakably Oui Legionnaires.

4.5/5

‘It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got (So Shut It)’ EP by Oui Legionnaires is out now.

Oui Legionnaires links:Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)

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