Legend Has It - Driven
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: December 24, 2009
Legend Has It’s Driven is a record that blends heavier rock elements in the instrumental department with clean, pop-punk vocals and melodies, resulting in quite an enjoyable debut from these Atlanta natives. Brandon Pool (lead guitar), Andy Kemmerer (rhythm guitar), Richard Allen (bass/background vocals), Jonathan Bottoms (drums), and Derek Walton (lead vocals) are able to craft a record chock full of so many melodic hooks that listeners will be humming songs weeks after they hear them.
“Anything You Want to Sing” kicks things off with a bang featuring quality riffs and a catchy chorus. Walton’s vocals are good as are the lyrics with lines like “living lies is all we get/we lose our time and what was spent.” Following this track is “Simple Changes,” whose chorus harbors strong inspiration from blink-182’s material along with grooving verses. The fast, palm-muted guitars in the pre-chorus of “After the Fall” lead into another memorable chorus before transitioning to an impressive solo by Pool. “Live for the Now” is the record’s best offering by far with a slower opening that speeds up into an absolutely infectious chorus and a pre-chorus that channels the energy of MxPx. The bridge is attention-grabbing and the lyrics are uplifting as Walton sings “don’t ask, don’t wait, your fate/is standing here it’s not too late.” The band, however, waver in the next track, “Into Reality,” where the verses are good but the chorus falls flat and is easily forgettable.
The second half of the record starts with “Lost Cause,” a song that is mellow overall with crisp vocals and a good melody. Next is “Given the Chance,” which goes back to the basics of pop-punk with a good, fast opening and lines that include “when we meet again, I only hope that you will see/the wasted nights you spent alone can now be spent with me.” “Close Enough to Touch” is catchy throughout with another good solo supplied by Pool in the bridge. As a whole, it carries a New Found Glory vibe. The subsequent track, “Run Away” has seen some radio play, and it’s easy to see why with its heavier verses, pounding drums, and melodic chorus. “Work in Progress” ends the record well with strings complementing the guitar in the opening and Pool providing his best solo before the song fades out gracefully.
Ultimately, Legend Has It have created an excellent record to begin their musical journey with, and it will be exciting to see where they go from here. The record, however, does have its flaws. Songs like “Into Reality” and “Given the Chance” are decent, but they lack any meaningful hooks. Interspersing a record with tracks that don’t live up to the other offerings (especially when following its best tracks) can easily lead to a decreased desire to play the record again. Instead, listeners might feel compelled to create a “greatest hits” from the record and only replay those select songs. Some songs naturally shine brighter than others, and that is fine, but every song on a record should be able to at least respectably hold its own. These Atlanta boys, though, really only have two tracks that fall victim to this problem and that fact alone is impressive for a debut. Listeners may not be overwhelmed by this release but they will want to listen to it again, and more importantly, they will want to experience the music live because these songs pack a strong melodic punch that is sure to delight anyone at a rock show.