Fake Legacy - Streets of Violence and Gore (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fake Legacy

Streets of Violence and Gore (2011)


Streets of Violence and Gore, the newest album from Swedish punks Fake Legacy, is more of an extended EP than a full-length album. The eight songs clock in at a little over 22 minutes. However, don't think of this as a bad thing.

The first track, "Slacker" sets a tone that buoys up the rest of the album and is easily the most exciting of all. If you like fast songs with awesome riffs and near-metal, blazing solos, this song will stay in your rotation for a while (as it has in mine). The title track "Streets of Violence & Gore" catches the listener with fun hooks, and is a good song in its own right, but seems to strive for something more that it never finds. Finishing out the album is "Ignorance", a less aggressive song that still catches you with some great guitar work and backing vocals.

The remainder of songs in between ("No Words", "Two Minus One Equals Zero", "Death Row Diary", "Moments from the Past" and "Beverage Friend") keeps the energy going, but don't always slap you with the "wow" factor of the others mentioned previously (especially "Slacker"...did I mention how great this song is?).

This is a young band forged in the frigid north that gave us such great bands as No Fun at All and Millencolin. What is it with Sweden, man? They make some great energetic punk rock.

The lead singer, who is either Tobias Hjalmarsson or Fredrik Eriksson (the band listing doesn't specify which one takes the lead vocals), has no discernable accent at all. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Either way, he belts out his lyrics with heart and gusto. I cannot stress that enough, by the way–the energy and excitement this band exudes with their music. It infects you and gets your foot tapping sooner than you think.

However, and this may be a pet peeve of mine, but the band has one guitarist, yet every track features a lot of overdubbing on the guitars, especially during solos. This produces a great recording, but may be a sound that is hard to recreate live.

Half of these songs were previously available via download on the aptly named 2010 Demo and, to be honest, I prefer those recordings much more. The vocal levels here are a bit louder than the music, which itself lacks the punch and heavy, powerful sound on the demo. If anything, this release may be too overproduced. This reason is probably what keeps me from bumping the score up to an 8.

If Fake Legacy can keep their songwriting at the levels they have maintained thus far, they'll probably find the opportunity to go places sooner rather than later. Improvements would only be an added bonus for us, the listeners. On a down-note, their website now only lists two members (the aforementioned Hjalmarsson and Eriksson) and they seem to be lacking a drummer at the moment. I, for one, hope they pick one up soon. It would be a shame for a band with this much potential to fall by the wayside.