The journey to ‘Few’ has been shaped through He is Legend’s entire career, from the youthful uproar of ‘I Am Hollywood’, which darted between death-growled metal riffs and sensitive emo melodies like a quick change act, to 2014’s comeback ‘Heavy Fruit’ which demonstrated a penchant for abstract alt-rock textures among the usual chaos. ‘Few’ is the sound of a band re-interpreting their musical influences into a melting pot to make a hard rock record busting with life.
Opener ‘Air Raid’ paints a grayscale picture. Barnstorming grooves and soaring lead guitars provide a dark backdrop to the song, creating a fully-realised soundscape that ensures the chaotic moments complement the pandemonic lyrics, such as “I don’t know why she is out of breath at the door of death, it’s clandestine, but she hides it well.”
Second track ‘Sand’ also exemplifies their homage to the sounds that inspired us, focusing on the whimsical emo melodies and using it to make a dreamy hard rock song that has the potential to be a radio hit. Similarly massive hooks can be found in tracks like ‘Beaufort’ and ‘Alley Cat’, the latter flapping it’s Southern fried wings proudly.
But ‘Few’ is a multi-dimensional record, and the fun moments are balanced out by the anguish projected by frontman Schuylar Croon on tracks like ‘Gold Dust’ and the Alice In Chains-esque ‘Call Ins’. Croon’s weathered vocals provide a raw texture to these tracks. That same drawl makes the sarcastically toned ‘Fritz the Dog’ an unexpected highlight as well.
He is Legend have always seemed like the undercard of the 2000’s metalcore uprising, considering what their contemporaries in Every Time I Die and Norma Jean have achieved, but ‘Few’ is a reward for anyone who has stayed loyal to them while many others may have consigned them to the past. It’s the sound of a band who have taken their many inspirations and threaded them into something that stands tall on it’s own creative merit.
‘few’ by He Is Legend is released on 28th April on Spinefarm Records.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)