Truly fantastic, exciting rock bands from Britain are a rarity, compared to the number of pop bands, electronic artists and indie guitar bands it ready spills out. Usually British rock music is in thrall to its American counterparts, readily copying genres that have flooded radio and TV in the last twenty years, already tainted with an ennui or overtly in debt to the work of their US cousins. So when a band like Young Legionnaire and a record like Crisis Works comes along, it’s a reminder that the UK is the originator of pounding riffs, scorching guitars and sensory-grabbing rythmns. Formed by Paul Mullen formerly of yourcodenameis:milo and Gordon Moakes of Bloc Party, Crisis Works is a record loosely concerned with the idea that crisis can kind of be engineered around us to make us more pliable. As Gordon explains; ‘The idea is that we’re living with a siege mentality about the recession and spending cuts, but it’s that siege mentality that makes ‘difficult’ decisions easier to confer on us from above.
The principle applies at a personal level with the decisions you make for yourself, all the way up to the global economic level’. The seeds of Young Legionnaire were sown following Gordon’s guest appearance on the yourcodenameis:milo side project Print Is Dead album in 2006. Some more meetings and conversations followed over the next few years, eventually leading to their first rehearsals together as a band in 2009, alongside drummer William Bowerman. Ove the next eight months the band wrote six songs during three rehearsals, fitting around other work schedules. Covening properly early in 2010, the rest of the album flowed quickly from here. August 2010 saw the release of a limited 7” single on renowned UK hardcore label Holy Roar and a handful of dates as the band prepared to record their debut album. Produced by Rich Jackson (Future Of The Left, The Automatic, The Chapman Family), Crisis Works Combines the ferocious dynamics of …Trail of Dead with the intensity of Husker Du, Crisis Works is an album full of power, intent and brilliant songs. In turns tumultuous and epicly minded, it brings together The album is about noise, volume, being heavy and being loud, as Gordon puts it; ‘(We wanted) To make a big, juddering noise but weave a trail of melody through it’.
He goes on; ‘Even though the format of guitar, bass, drums and vocal is established, is nothing ground-breaking, the possibilities are endless. There’s always another riff to write, a heavier sound to find. And we’re looking for the magic in the gaps between the riffs too. There’s a tenderness to it, a fragility almost, that we stumbled upon, and I’m inspired by that, to discover that. The record is about the brutal, the fragile and the possible.’ The band begin 2011 supporting Les Savy Fav across February and March in the UK and follow that up by visits to LA, New York and Texas for South by South West. May will see the release of Crisis Works, followed by festivals and full scale touring in Europe and the US,