26 June 2009

The Legends: “Over and Over”

Where has my friend SDM been? Sick, very sick actually. Between that and dealing with one of those times in the year where the 9 to 5 dominates most of his time, he has been spending most of his free time in bed. But I got to meet up with him the other day, and we sat down, and he actually shared this album with me; like him, I was in love immediately. What makes this review special is that it is the first time the both of us sat down together and wrote. Getting inside of his head, and listening to him talk about an album, making comparisons to older music and telling stories about those times were interesting. But enough of that, this post is about the Legends. Johan Angergard, founder of Labrador Records, is the main creative force behind the band. Now, releasing their fourth album, “Over and Over” (16 June 2009), listeners are going to be wowed away with the range and diversity of music, but yet the ability to keep a singular sound.

We both of us (SDM and I) are of the same mind these days: there is a lot of great music coming out of Sweden. It is most like a question of real estate: location, location, location. Not part of the Anglophile or American music scenes, and residing in reach of the entire continent of Europe, not to mention Russia and Asia, Sweden imports much of its music from the entire world, while producing their own. In the air is a mix, a diversity of sounds and styles, ideologies and beliefs, that congeals into unique, relevant, groundbreaking music: Abba, The Cardigans, The Hives, Moonbabies, Povel Ramel, Robyn, Roxette, and The Sounds, not to mention that Stefan Olsdal of Placebo is Swedish. Johan Angergard belongs on this list. “Over and Over” is a potpourri of music; there is no one definite style of playing or genre of music, yet the experience is complete and fulfilling in itself. Literally, it is mind blowing and ear popping.

Taking influence from dream pop and shoegazing, the album also harkens back to the 60s, standard pop, and the new trend for noise pop. Couple that with being guilty of having wonderful lyrics to pair with their noise, you get music that is as thriving and relevant as early Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine was during the late 80s. Officially a nine-man piece, the band has the ability to draw upon various members for different sounds, vocals, and melodic effects. But what you do not get is broody-moody-bring-me-down music. Unlike bands like White Lies or Metric that have this ingenious ability to put forth some of the darkest themes to some of the poppiest sounds, Legends/Angergard is more about capturing moments in real life, with a distorted production style, which matches the way we all as humans distort reality when confronted with it.

The album opens with the driving post-punk revival mantra “You Won,” sexy, ambient, infectious, and leads into the noise pop/punk of “Seconds Away.” And just when you think you know where the album is going to go, the fourth track, sneaks up on you: “Monday to Saturday” (“Now we are only biding time… Monday to Saturday, still no fun days, even on Sundays”), a poppy, 60-esque number, that will make you want to clap along. The album closes much as it began, with a post-punk revival mantra, coming full circle, with “Touch.” From defeat to wanting to reach out (“I want to touch you”), the album is an adventure lyrically. In between there is the acoustic “Jump” and ethereal “Heartbeats.” One thing, though, we never give much credit for is production style. This album deserves some, much actually. One of the reasons the album works as an album (already the hints that live these songs are going to take on a life of their own is obvious) is that the production style is universal on all of these tracks. It allows the songs to exist on single continuum. In a time and age where the album as a concept is quickly disappearing because of how we have started to consume music in the broadband world, Angergard apparently continues to work with the concept that albums are and must somehow (thematically and/or sonically) be a complete collection in their own right. Cheers for this! This album, ultimately, has a calming effect, and moods just turn from angry to happy and from anxious to calm. And even when the distortion is quickly becoming unbearable, you realize that they are setting up the next bar in music, the bridge or chorus, or even the next song. Everything works off of everything, in a way that is almost magical. Get the album, even if you have to import it.

Track Listing:
1. You Won
2. Seconds Away
3. Always the Same
4. Monday to Saturday
5. Heartbeats
6. Dancefloor
7. Turn Away
8. Recife
9. Over and Over
10. Jump
11. Something Strange Will Happen
12. Touch

Keep up with the Legends on the homepage (via Labrador Records) and MySpace.

Here is their video for “Always the Same” from the Labrador Records YouTube Channel.


  1. Lovely comparisons to Jesus and Mary Chain. I really enjoyed the video and am awaiting the album. I really liked the wording of the whole review. Best of regards!

  2. Don't quit your day job! L needs your talent.
    Your review of The Legends is the kind of writing that I would have liked to have shared in my Creative Writing class as an example to emulate.
    I viewed The Legends video and probably will download something from them as they fit my eclectic taste.Perhaps I will segue from them to Anna Nabrakovah(I killed the spelling on that) or Bob Marly or She and Him.