Whether you’re a fan or not, the story of He Is Legend‘s journey as a band is at the very least fascinating. Member shake-ups, hiatus’, musical direction changes – the Carolina quartet have gone through their fair shares worth of stages of hell in their time as musicians. Their trips through band warfare have eventually lead them to fifth studio album Few, an album that if anything is a spiritual successor to previous record ‘Heavy Fruit‘, taking the band even further away from the group of musicians that made cult hit debut album ‘I Am Hollywood‘.
Taking a continued leap away from pacing hardcore and a more calculated step into controlled, riff lead tracks – Few grinds along at a poised tempo like a true 90’s rock album akin to the likes of Alice In Chains or maybe even at a push Pearl Jam. The problem for Few, however is that it certainly doesn’t play host to a song nearing the quality of ‘Them Bones‘ or ‘Even Flow‘.
What is there is a collection of tracks that bring with them a taste of being quite a way past their sell-by date. ‘Air Raid‘ and ‘Beaufort‘ bring with them their fair share of lead guitar lines from Adam Tanbouz which cut deep while ‘Gold Dust‘ and ‘Call Ins‘ add an interesting level of delicacy to the record, with lead vocalist Schuylar Croom putting in a performance full of range, class and hook. Highlights from the record though seemingly end there.
What is left of Few does little to progress He Is Legend as a musical outfit, and it’s ironic how a band who when first emerged seemed fitting – if not way ahead of their time, have now produced something that seems desperately lacking in a sense of edge or bite. With tracks like ‘Silent Gold‘ and ‘Jordan‘ feeling worryingly outdated and bland.
For a quartet who have been around for over a decade, Few admittedly strikes as a tired release. Run of the mill 90’s style rock was mastered and pretty much done to death, well…. in the 90’s, and this record fails to bring anything new to the forefront. He Is Legend are still a band that deserves both respect and admiration for what they have accomplished and their quality as musicians, but Few seems to have missed its mark, by around 20 years or so.