He Is Legend
White Bat


3.5
great

Review

by SitarHero CONTRIBUTOR (59 Reviews)
July 16th, 2019 | 6 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good dirty sleazy fun. Like a pool of mud to a pig.

When I first heard He Is Legend’s debut, I Am Hollywood, way back in ’04-’05, their scene-kid image somehow managed to outweigh the weight of their riffage in my mind and led me to summarily dismiss them as just another uninteresting scenecore band. In the following years I managed to avoid listening to anything else they put out, thereby completely missing their evolution from fresh-faced scene-kids to hirsute groovy southern rockers. Therefore, imagine my surprise when, on a whim, I decided to give White Bat a spin and found myself thoroughly enjoying their freewheeling spiritual mashup of White Zombie, Pantera and Every Time I Die.

Led by the now whiskey-and-cigarette-voiced frontman Schuylar Croom, and the tectonic swagger of guitarist Adam Tanbouz and drummer Jesse Shelley, White Bat is a loose concept album that looks at life through the eyes of its thoroughly disreputable titular character on his journey across the "badlands" in much the same way the band’s debut explored the seedy side of life in tinseltown. If anything, the concept is borne out even better on White Bat than it was on I Am Hollywood thanks to the gravel in Croom’s voice and the sleaze in Tanbouz’s riffing adding some real grit and menace to proceedings. In general, the album’s uptempo rockers prove to be its high-points thanks to their supercharged energy-and-groove-laden instrumental performances which counteract any inequities in the vocal department. White Bat comes charging out of the gates like a (white) bat out of hell with the 1-2 punch of its title-track and the tongue-in-cheek “Burn All Your Rock Records”, while the over-caffeinated “Eye Teeth” and the crushing “Boogiewoman” also provide some of the album's absolute highlights.

The results when the band slows things down are a bit more mixed. Croom crafts some haunting melodies over some of the slower songs such as “Uncanny Valley” and they are not without appeal. However, there is a significant lack of really catchy hooks on the album and this is particularly noticeable when the instruments aren’t dominating proceedings. Ultimately this makes the album feel slightly disposable and it falls short of the kind of record that demands repeated listens. But, while it lasts, White Bat provides a rollicking good time in the finest tradition of spooky southern groove metal.

"White Bat" Lyric Video: https://youtu.be/KxywZgsgolI
"Boogiewoman" Music Video: https://youtu.be/3NdTaWL0_A8



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user ratings (118)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


10077 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Meant to do this ages ago, but I only just found the time and motivation. Fun little album, this.

gschwen
July 16th 2019


142 Comments


Couldn't agree more with your rating and summary, particularly the last paragraph. It sums up exactly how I feel about it.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


10077 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah! Not a classic by any means, but a damn fun album regardless. I really want to see these guys live now.

Get Low
July 16th 2019


5800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Their best album since Suck Out the Poison but still not great.

WatchItExplode
July 16th 2019


6875 Comments


Yes, yes, and yes. Eye Teeth brings it.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


9216 Comments


Maybe I need to give these guys another pass. Listened to Hollywood and enjoyed it but it has been some time.

Digging: Joliette - Luz Devora



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