On his fourth album under the guise The Legends, Johan Angergård surprises yet again. After three albums that each take the group in a different direction, it has become standard to expect no less from the next release, and thus it was on Over And Over. The first two singles demonstrated this aptly, drowning the listener in an all-encompassing guitar distortion that makes debut Up Against The Legends sound clean. While “Always The Same” and “Seconds Away” feature mind-numbing distortion in the guitar, the vocals are, for the most part, clean and wholesome.
Despite the oft indecipherable guitar, these songs are undeniably upbeat and filled with pop sensibilities. “Always The Same” features clashing male/female vocals that could almost be ripe for a Club 8 or Acid House Kings (Angergård’s other groups) reference. Yet giving Over And Over a first listen, there’s another surprise. Not all songs feature the wild distortion; some are soft and dreamy. What may be most astonishing is (despite the stark contrast in the sounds) how well the two styles go together.
Opening track “You Won” acts as somewhat of a midpoint; the distortion is lacking but so is the minimalist nature. The beats are heavy, tambourine consistent and synths encompassing. These songs, including the intense “Recife” and title track “Over And Over”, are exact opposites of others like the poppy yet dreamy “Monday To Saturday” and the super mellow “Heartbeats” and “Turn Away”. In the latter, added production elements can be heard it the vocals. It’s a clever play on an electronic nature.
It’s widely apparent that Angergård’s influences are about as widespread as they come. And while for any other artist this would be a detriment, it merely champions The Legends as one of the most well-versed, memorable and innovative artists in the world.
The Legends: Always The Same [mp3]
[audio:090715_the_legends_-_always_the_same.mp3|titles=Always The Same|artists=The Legends]
Labrador Records [CD, 2009]
1. You Won
2. Seconds Away
3. Always The Same
4. Monday To Saturday
7. Turn Away
9. Over And Over
11. Something Strange Will Happen