EL ES LEYENDA!
Hey, remember that time I talked about my first experience with the band WHY? (yanno, yesterday). In a twist of modern fate or whatever, it just so happens that today’s album, He is Legend’s It Hates You, was also experienced on that grand “Hey, check this out” scale with friends at the same ranch.
Except, the leak that we had obtained and burned was the version of this album that was slowed down. So all the songs were in, like… 3-quarters speed.
Which, at the time, we thought was totally legit – until the vocals kicked in. Singer Scuylar Croom does have a low register, but not “brown note” low.
Have a listen to opening track “Dicephalous” (a dope word meaning “having two heads”) slowed down:
Compared to the final, “sped-up” (as in, the real tempo) version, this one is borderline sludge metal. Even wading through black strap molasses, it’s got teeth, man.
So if you can find that version of the album, it’s a trip. Enjoy it.
Also, before I really get to It Hates You, I should say that my favorite time catching He is Legend live was on one of the strangest tours I’ve ever seen – The Black Unicorn Tour from 2006. How’s this for a line-up:
- The Classic Case (eh)
- Showbread, supporting Age of Reptiles (raw and underrated album and band)
- The Fall of Troy, after Dopplegänger but before Manipulator (tremendously talented but one of the indie scene’s biggest egotists in Thomas Erak)
- He is Legend, supporting Suck Out The Poison (but still playing all the hits from I Am Hollywood and 91025)
It was an odd but enjoyable mash of bands who don’t… really resemble each other in the slightest. I mean, at all.
It Hates You has been out for 4 years now, and though the band is finally working on a follow-up, as a return to the more metalcore minded I Am Hollywood (as opposed to the departure that was the deeply southern rock Suck Out The Poison), it has thankfully not been a period of “Why did they end on that note?”
I’m embarrassed to admit to a period in my life where I had no problem rocking jean cut offs (complete with holes all too close to the crotchal region) and band tees and a camo hat (thanks, Cafrine). This fashion decision was only in a partially ironic way. It followed a period of all black everything and that military hat thing.
This era was marked by listening to a lot of southern rock: He is Legend, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster, Haste the Day, Every Time I Die, and lesser known bands like Big Rig (later known as Dormia) and Blessed is He. It also included my stint as a “tour manager” for my friends in a band – or just the guy to help load in/in, travel to shows and get in for free. We’ve all been there.
It was a strange time, no doubt.
It Hates You opens with its 3 strongest tracks: the aforementioned “Dicephalous,” “Party Time!” – which is not an Andrew W.K. b-side, contrary to popular belief – and “Everyone I Know Has Fangs,” which may just be my favorite HIL song.
“Fangs” has it all: visual and metaphoric lyrics (I just had the strangest vision / The apartment was on fire / And you were standing in the kitchen / And you were covered in cherry pie), killer riffs and a jam of a breakdown to conclude.
So for being an album in the heavy or southern metal genre, there’s really only one clunker: “Cult of She.” Everywhere else is pretty much golden if you’re into this type of music: from the first three tracks banging out of the gate to the the tremendous and lengthy instrumental on “Stranger Danger.” And the recurring thread: “China White 3” – a continuation of “China White” (I Am Hollywood) and “China White II” (Suck Out The Poison).
Solid album is solid. Into it.
From It Hates You, this is “Everyone I Know Has Fangs” –
Standout tracks: “Dicephalous” and “The Primarily Blues” and “Mean Shadows”
Weakest track: “Cult of She”
RIYL: Southern rock, heavy metal. The Showdown, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster, Haste the Day, Every Time I Die, The Bled.