Former yourcodenameis:milo frontman Paul Mullen and Bloc Party bassman Gordon Moakes collaborated previously on YCNI:M‘s ‘Print Is Dead’ record, and clearly some common ground was discovered between them. After Mullen went on to join The Automatic and Bloc Party went on hiatus, the two got together again for a new project, the fruits of which are the new record under the name Young Legionnaire. youcodenameis:milo were one of the most underrated and innovative bands in British rock in the 00’s, combining melody and experimentation to thrilling effect.
This new record shows Mullen has lost none of the inventiveness that characterised his former band’s sound, but it is apparent that spending time with The Automatic has heightened his melodic skills. This record is crammed with mountainous riffs, but equally laden with memorable hooks. The opening three tunes kick things off in sledgehammer fashion, especially opener ‘Twin Victory’ which twists and turns through numerous breakdowns and tangents at lightning speed, Mullen screaming like a man possessed. ‘Chapter, Verse’ brings a huge, Cave In style weight to proceedings while lead off single ‘Numbers’ manages to be shatteringly hefty in the riff department and deceptively hook laden in the vocals.
Mullen’s voice veers on the record from sweet falsettos to full throated roars and everything in between, but the real shining brilliance of this record is the way Mullen, Moakes and drummer Dean Pearson manage to make such a fat sound as a three-piece. The heavy moments really hit home, especially the brutal coda of ‘Black Lions’ but tracks such as “Even The Birds’ and the surprisingly sweet ‘These Arms’ show some great versatility.
This isn’t a flawless record, but it is definitely one of the strongest debut records of the year so far, and proves that there is still life in the classic three-piece riff-centric rock band. The main hope this album brings up is that the band find enough time away from their main projects to work on more new music. This record is too promising not to.
Release Date – 9th May 2011