He Is Legend
White Bat


3.5
great

Review

by SitarHero CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
July 16th, 2019 | 124 replies


Release Date: 06/28/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good dirty sleazy fun. Like a pool of mud for 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 (and erroneously) 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 underbelly of 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 with their supercharged energy-and-groove-laden instrumental performances counterbalancing 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 just short of being 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 (196)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Squizzy (3.5)
Consistently evolving, but staying consistently the same....


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


11974 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


280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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


11974 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


7587 Comments


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

WatchItExplode
July 16th 2019


8180 Comments


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

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


11226 Comments


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

ConcubinaryCode
July 16th 2019


5380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I swear the hype these guys got for the comeback was immense and now they're 3 albums in and talk of them seems very small despite them having very solid stuff.

Ecnalzen
July 16th 2019


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hooray, this got a reivew!

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah sorry. I meant to write this like 2 weeks ago but life happens.

outliers
July 16th 2019


1481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

loved this for a couple days before it grew off me hard. putting this in the same category of their last 2 albums. not great, not terrible, pretty forgettable

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's better than the last two though. Heavier, better riffs, better production, better vocals.

ConcubinaryCode
July 17th 2019


5380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^agreed. They've gotten better with every release tbh

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I Am Hollywood and It Hates You hold up pretty well, the former especially considering how young these guys were when they made it. I haven't listened to Suck Out The Poison yet though.

Ecnalzen
July 17th 2019


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like the previous two quite a bit, but I like this and It Hates You the most in their post-phxc days.





SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ha! I just checked out their artist page and everything except this and Hollywood (4.1) are rated at 3.7, and this is a 3.8! How's that for consistency?

Winsomniac
July 17th 2019


8763 Comments


Neat review! I liked few better overall, but there are some real great moments on this one as well. Bigger fan of their southern-metal riff-based work than their post-hardcore influenced stuff.

Digging: The Ghost Inside - The Ghost Inside

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Something about the production on few just rubbed me the wrong way. Like the guitars and vocals were just too thin and papery. The guitars on this are MASSIVE! And Croom sounds like he's finally grown into his voice.

Get Low
July 17th 2019


7587 Comments


@Sitar Listen to Suck Out the Poison. It's worth your time.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2019


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's on my to-do list!

drasticaction74
July 17th 2019


1911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the chorus in Talking Stalker is entirely too catchy



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