Up Against The Legends
Styles: garage rock, psych-pop, fuzz rock
Others: Mooney Suzuki, The Hives, Jesus & Mary Chain
Prior to receiving my copy of The Legends' Up Against the Legends, I prepared myself by reading a half-dozen reviews of the album. Words like fuzz rock, bubble-gum pop, and Swedish garage a la Jesus & Mary Chain all seemed to creep in every review, leaving a pessimistic image of the band in my head (been there, done that). So instead of using my diverted and tarnished outlook of the record and the band, I decided to conduct an experiment. Once I receive the album, I played it to two distinctive groups of people. First, I took the record and played it to a handful of friends that hover around my age category. Second, I played it for a group of local kids, ranging between 4 to 9, including my own. And the results were convincingly accurate and sadly predictable.
While Up Against The Legends falls remarkably and fashionably within the realms of fuzz-pop and bubble-gum, the album does have a few standout tracks. "Nothing To Be Done" and "Breaking Time, Breaking Lines" showcase brilliantly The Legends' influences and collectively envelops the elements that makes this group another highlight in this ever present garage rock revolution. And it is a 9-piece collective from Sweden, not a bad thing at all. But as I stood back and analyzed the plethora of comments divulged by both parties involved in my study, I couldn't understand whether The Legends were just imitation or for real.
While most adults dismissed the record as another copycat effort, and an effortless one at that, the kids showed an immense amount of pleasure while listening to it, especially the quicker, fast-paced tracks like "Call It Yours," "Right On," and "The Kids Just Want To Have Fun." And 'have fun' is exactly what they did; dancing, laughing, giggling, etc... the kids were being kids. So, as I admired the innocence of the children, I couldn't help feel bad for the adults. Perhaps The Legends weren't amicably accepted as revolutionary musicians in rock 'n' roll, but their music sure resonated sweetly amongst certain listeners. And I believe that the only strength of Up Against The Legends is its entertainment value, that's it.
The Legends is definitely in a gap. Pleasing to many younger listeners, the band falters to impress many older indie music lovers. But again, The Legends may be just 'that' amongst its niche, and that is the strength that will lead it to its musical acceptance and tolerance as another resurrection of '60s psych pop and '70s garage rock.
1. Call it ours
2. There and back again
3. Your song
4. Right on
5. Nothing to be done
6. Everything you say
7. Trouble loves me
8. When the day is done
9. Breaking time, breaking lines
10. Make it all right
11. The kids just wanna have fun
12. No way out