The Legends – Over And Over

The Legends - Over And Over

Anyone who names his or her band The Legends has serious delusions of grandeur or is perhaps taking the piss.  Luckily for Swedish mastermind Johan Angergård (member of Acid House Kings and Club 8, as well as founder of Labrador Records), his project is much closer to sonic grandeur than failure.  Melodic and sweet pop hooks are oftentimes laden down with excoriating, high frequency sandblaster noise, creating songs that sound like Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain covering Trembling Blue Stars.

Over and Over is considered a solo project run completely by Johan, and a few songs err on the ear-cringing side of noise, like the ear-piercing “Recife” and title track “Over and Over” (please, just let it be over!).  Some tunes even have that weird Autotune thing going on for the vocals (as found in parts of “Heartbeats” and “Jump”), which unfortunately bring to mind the glossy Boy Band style.  Most of the songs, however, feature gentler instrumentation, like placid guitar strum and pleasant beats that are graced by delicate to dreamy male and female vocals.

Johan’s vocals sound like a cross between les hommes of Air and Ben Wratten of Trembling Blue Stars.  Guest female vocals add a warm, engaging, and levity to the proceedings.  The blissful downer “You Won” pushes with a The Cure-like deep bass line and low drum beat propulsion.  Johan’s vocals are melancholic and dreamy on the verses, then soars on the chorus as chiming guitars break out and female vocals provide support in the background.  “Seconds Away” sounds like a lost Everything’s Alright Forever-era Boo Radleys track with burnished noise, veering between fuzzed-up distortion and twee, harmonizing catchiness.

The 60s beach-style tune “Always the Same” features girlish guest female vocals singing sweetly “He comes the summer shine / Expect the best of times.” amid warmly fuzzy blasts of guitar.  The buoyant and softly chipper “Monday to Saturday” is a fine slice of Euro-pop, coming on all sweet ‘n’ innocent like Peter Bjorn and John songs, with handclaps, tambourine taps, breezy guitar strum, and a complex orchestral backdrop woven into the simplicity.  Airy, Air-like, male and female vocals harmonize “…dreaming away to somewhere else.”

Johan is a one-man Boy Band in pop ballad mode on the aforementioned “Heartbeats”, a soothing rumination with its slightly Autotuned, wistful male vocals and tinkling chimes, liquid-like guitar lines, and Johan sometimes letting his syllables spill out trippingly quick “My heart is beating with the rhythm of a dance track.”  Meanwhile “Touch” turns up the rock with an up-tempo pace, harder guitars, and hazy male and female vocals that recall the bands My Bloody Valentine and Secret Shine.