My first experience of He Is Legend was the video for ‘The Seduction’ which instantly
drew me into the band, but not for the right reasons at the time. The video is based on a puppet show featuring characters like the little guy in the picture which, while being highly amusing meant that I didn’t take the band too seriously. Impressive musicians yes, but also a bunch jokers. Add in the fact that title track ‘I Am Hollywood’ is even more extreme both musically and satirically, and my first impression was that He Is Legend were to be taken very lightly.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Behind the humour and satire of the aforementioned tracks lurks a sophisticated and well-rounded post-hardcore record that warrants much more respect than first impressions might have you believe. Across the record you’re treated to huge riffs that you can’t possibly sit still for, poignant lyrics wrapped around wonderfully vivid imagery and dynamics that make each song leap out of the speakers.
From the crazy barks of ‘I Am Hollywood’, you wouldn’t have Schuylar Croom down as a brilliantly melodic vocalist, but tracks like ‘Eat a Book’ and ‘China White’ prove how capable he is. Croom’s ability to flip from soaring melodies to punishing growls adds even more depth to the variety on this record.
Me and Mike will always have fond memories of the time we first saw He Is Legend live (supporting From First to Last, surprisingly!) – seeing Croom attempting backflips on stage is something that can only be topped by him sheepishly announcing afterwards that he’d “lost both my shoes and one of my socks!”
He Is Legend went on to explore southern rock angles on follow-up record ‘Suck Out the Poison’ and while some of their later material was good, ‘I Am Hollywood’ remains one of my favourite post-hardcore records of all time. It just has everything in it and is so well balanced. The band are releasing a new record ‘few’ on April 28th, so we’ll see what they have in store for us then.
Watch Mike cover ‘The Seduction’ below. It doesn’t have any puppets, but there is a furry creature involved.