He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood (Cover Artwork)

He Is Legend

I Am Hollywood (2004)

Solid State

You know when you catch a trailer for a comedy film that makes the film look really funny and think to yourself that you just have to see that film, but then when you watch it, you realise that all the funny moments were in the trailer and the rest of the film just pads them out to ninety minutes?

My first experience with He Is Legend was the release of the e-card for this album with the tracks "The Seduction" and "I am Hollywood," which are both so good that I was really looking forward to this release and was almost sure that it would be one of the best of the year. Imagine my surprise then, when I finally got hold of it and heard not the fast paced melodic hardcore album I expected, but a much more dumbed down mix of melodic rock with the odd hardcore moment. It starts so well and ends so well, mostly because the two aforementioned tracks are the first and last of the album, and whilst the bits in between aren't bad, the listener is left wishing He Is Legend had done a bit more with it. Those who enjoyed their first EP will also be disappointed at the softer direction that He Is Legend have taken.

He Is Legend do mix their styles rather well despite some claims that they are confused as to which genre they want to be in. They shift between medium paced rock - not "emo" - to powerfully driven metalcore based music with admirable ease, which is helped by the extraordinary dynamic range of vocalist Schuylar Croom and some good song writing. And while there are certainly some excellent and memorable moments in this album, it is nonetheless lacking something given their potential. The album art is great, the production appropriate, and the lyrics are intelligent, and often witty. Despite being on Solid State Records, at no point do they Bible-thump and yet, it could have been so much better.

I just wish there were more songs like the first and last tracks. If you are going to buy this on the strength of the tracks linked below then be prepared for the comedy movie trailer syndrome. If you think that the score seems harsh given that I am actually quite fond of this record, then I hope HIL think so too and release the hardcore album we've been waiting for.