Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Local Legends - Queens Will

Album review by

The Local Legends make a statement of intent by opening their debut album 'Queens Will' with the slow-burning, haunting 'What'. It highlights vocalist Ben's strong, raw voice, and the track seduces us into wanting to see what the rest of the album will give us. 'What' is a track that holds your attention, but when it should shine out on the rewarding climax, a somewhat flat production hinders, wrong-footing the song. Second track 'Lonely God' fulfills the promise laid down by 'What' and is a stomping rocker coming on like 'Electric' era The Cult or the much maligned Bush. It has a great solo that belts out the song in legs splayed, head down style. By 'Hey Jack' the band have found their footing. 'Hey Jack' opens with a frenetic pound, then slides into a subtler vibe before hitting on the gas again, there are echoes of early Queen, and the track blasts by in joyful roar.

After 'Hey Jack''s ride, next song 'How Could I' reaches out to be a song of grandeur scale, but it doesn't quite reach the sum of its parts and becomes a little forgettable. 'Wonder' is that dreaded thing (if done badly), a ballad. Then The Local Legends take 'Wonder' away from Whitesnake, and give us a song that has depth and finesse, a distant cousin to Bush's 'Glycerine' or Alice in Chains'  'Nutshell'. 'Only Way' reaches the ambitions of 'How Could I'. It climbs those heights by the maturity of it's structure, and a delicate almost Frusicante-like guitar dances around the song, its lightness of touch bringing strength rather than overpowering with bluster. For the first time on the album, the following song is too enthralled in its influences, and 'Jackie' comes across as a somewhat generic alt-rock song. Its delivered well, but sounds too much like a mash up of G N' R "woohs" and post-grunge inflected vocals. Then if you took off the critic glasses, it sounds like it would be a bit of a stormer live.

'Story Teller' mines a bluesier vein, and is so much better for it. Like the bastard offspring of Cream, 'DC and Free, 'Story Teller' wears its guitars low-slung and pounds you with a filthy groove. A dexterous flash of magical melody and harmonies instantly pulls you into 'Rock'in Life'. There is a cheeky, near ...'Teen Spirit riff, before the song unleashes its power. The track has a great 'hands in the air', life-affirming charm and is a standout on the album. And so to 'Almost Outside', the album's final track. An instrumental, it has the same velvet touch as that of 'What'. You can hear the exhale of smoke, and the pouring of that last drink. Some quite special, modern blues guitar graces the song. It winds around you,with a real charm, similar to that of Pearl Jam's 'Yellow Ledbetter'.  'Almost Outside' bows out 'Queens Will' in real style.

The Local Legends' website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Aug 03 Granatos Live Festival, Rumsiskes, Lithuania

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