Early this year, the popular British band Bloc Party decided to take a one-year hiatus. Frontman Kele Okereke has been spending his time with his recently released solo album, guitarist Russel Lissack has been plugging along with his side project Pin Me Down, percussionist Matt Tong has disappeared entirely, and bassist and multi-instrumentalist Gordon Moakes has been busy taking care of his new baby girl and, in his spare time, working on a bit of music in the form of Young Legionnaire.
Young Legionnaire is the combination of Gordon Moakes, YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO frontman Paul Mullen, and La Roux drummer Will Bowerman. They sound like a comically mismatched trio, but they actually come together in a very cohesive way.
The band has released their first piece of work, the Colossus/Iron Dream 7". The first thing you'll notice about this music is that it is fairly no-frills Post-Hardcore affair, which actually seems somewhat refreshing in this day and age, especially considering the past work of the people who compose Young Legionnaire. There are no fancy basslines, alternate instruments, and very few glossy studio effects.
'Colossus' starts out with a pretty,chiming guitar riff before exploding into a fairly typical rock song. It is well-played and loud, but is perhaps a bit too generic to have any real lasting effect. The vocals are the weakest link in this song, at times even making the song sound like early Deftones. It should be noted that Paul Mullen, not Gordon Moakes, is the vocalist, and I must admit to thinking of the vocals of his past project YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO to be that band's weak link as well.
'Iron Dream' comes off quite a bit better, starting with a fast chunky-sounding guitar line and slowly growing. The vocals seem more earnest, the bass seems more involved, and everything seems a bit more interesting and lively. It has some nice falsetto vocals in the background and during the bridge and evolves fairly nicely, staying interesting throughout.
Young Legionnaire isn't breaking new ground by any means, but they have released a decent pair or songs and deserve to be cautiously watched for the future.
Youtube: 'Iron Dream'