Stream Ontario punks Among Legends’ debut LP & read a track-by-track breakdown
Ontario punks Among Legends' debut album Take Good Care comes out this Friday (7/8) via Little Rocket/Rad Girlfriend/Sounds Of Subterrannia (pre-order), but you don't have to wait until tomorrow to hear it; a full stream premieres in this post. Talking about recent single "Monochrome," we said Among Legends kinda sound like the middle ground between The Menzingers and Alkaline Trio, and if you like those bands or others of that ilk, you'll probably dig this whole LP too. It's one ripper after another, with the occasional departure (like the slower, spoken word-infused "Rigged"), and just about every song is packed to the gills with catchy, driving, streamlined punk rock. The members of Among Legends also gave us a track-by-track breakdown of the album, diving into some of the lyrical themes, songwriting/recording processes, certain aspects of the songs that really stick out to them, and more. Stream the LP and read on for what they had to say...
We wanted a high-energy song to kick off the record, and "Five Years" definitely fit the bill. It’s got that double-time drum beat that’s essential to any punk rock record, a melodic chorus with some nice harmonized “whoas,” gang vocals in the bridge and a killer guitar solo - what more could you want? When we recorded the album, I’m fairly certain Tyler nailed that solo in 1-2 takes like a champ - now we make him play it at every show because not only is "Five Years" an ideal album opener, but it makes for a pretty great way to start our set. - Sara
"On The Line"
On the Line is a love letter to the past; soaking in nostalgia while using one’s past to learn/grow. This song reminds me of that age when all you can do is live carefree and in the moment. The airy guitar chords and dynamic bass notes in the verse create a wide landscape with a driving energy without sounding chaotic or anxious. I love the pre-chorus in this song; the spacey guitar riff and uplifting bassline shift the tone of the song from the nostalgic past into the thoughtful present found in the chorus. - Tyler
"Magnolia" was a late addition to the record - we had only started writing it a few months before recording - but it quickly became a band favourite and we knew it needed to be included on the album. In general this is a really fun song to play, it’s a bit on the slower side (for us) and that gives everyone some room to be creative. The vocals are a highlight for me, when Mitchell showed up to practice and tried out that vocal delivery in the second half of verse two I think the rest of us lost our minds, it’s such a great part. - Sara
Something that I think is really cool in some songs is the way the band takes a melody you’ve heard already, and puts new chords underneath to make something new. To me, that was the highlight of putting "Oceans" together: we do two choruses a certain way, and then switch it up after the bridge to give it new life in the second half of the song. Another high point was hearing Anthony’s bass in the verses once we started learning the song together - he gives it a bounce that keeps the energy up, even when we’re going light on the guitars. - Mitchell
"Come Up Swinging"
This is my personal pump-up song. It’s all about overcoming adversity and sticking with stuff even when that little voice in my head is telling me to quit. There’s something so addictive about Cameron’s guitar riff in the choruses - it works so well that I honestly think I could listen to just the music of this song’s chorus over and over until my ears stop working. I don’t know if Sara, Anthony and I will ever be able to convince Cameron and Tyler that we should write some ska songs, but this is a ska song in disguise. - Mitchell
The lyrics from this song come from a combination of different member’s experiences when things weren’t great or they were in a bad place. Everyone’s life is a series of ups and downs and it’s not always easy to pull yourself out; Sometimes you need a life line from family or friends. The first verse starts off with someone who can’t bring themselves to get out of bed and I think the tone of the music really reflects that. Throughout the song, the energy increases and the chords get a little less “emo” to match the overall message of the song that is to “hold on tight, ‘cause this life is worth it”. - Cameron
This song is unique to this album because Anthony wrote the music! Usually it’s me or Cameron who writes the music, but I love when other band members do something in their own unique style. My first job in Toronto was at Adelaide & Victoria, right in the heart of downtown. I biked to work every day and wrote the lyrics to this song to, uhhh, honour some of the folks who didn’t seem to appreciate my presence on the road. When we wrote "Baywatch," I don’t think there were any protected bike lanes downtown. Now the song is out, and there are lots of protected bike lanes downtown. Coincidence? Yes. - Mitchell
"Days Like These"
When we were writing this song, the placeholder name based solely on the instrumentals was “Spring Song.” The lyrics however, evolved into more of a post-breakup song with a reminder that relationships will come and go but you can always count on your friends to save you in the end. The verses are little more laid back and open which gives room to a tight, punk rock chorus. - Cameron
"Greyhound" is a song that explores some unsettled feelings about a personal relationship and has a great push/pull feel. The guitars and bass bounce from chord to chord and remind me of the way passing streetlights dance around the windows of a car when you drive a night on the highway. I love the drums in the chorus, they create such a driving sound with a lot of energy without sounding angry or chaotic. Perfect for the theme of "Greyhound." Also, the bass tone is pretty sick. - Tyler
"Rigged" is one of those songs that we thought would never come together. We had a lot of really interesting pieces and struggled for a while to create cohesion. I’m really proud of this song, both for the message behind the lyrics, and for the ability to offer what I consider to be somewhat unique with the spoken word and uncommon song structure. I still have no idea how to play most of this song, it all came together in the studio almost unconsciously. This is a song worth listening to several times back to back. - Tyler
"Manifesto" is a bit of an unconventional song for us, both thematically and from a compositional standpoint. A lot of the lyrics on this album are fairly personal, but "Manifesto" looks outwards at some societal issues that were prevalent at the time, and have perhaps become more relevant over the last few years. There’s also a fun lyrical call-back to an old Among Legends song hidden in there, if you’re in the know. From a songwriting perspective, someone once described this song as being a bunch of different chorus parts stitched together, which I think is a neat way to look at it. "Manifesto" went through a fair amount of revisions before we finally figured out how to make it work, and I’m glad we stuck it out! - Sara
This is one of my favourite songs on the album. Musically, it’s straight out of the early 2010s pop punk revival. Lyrically, I think a lot of people can relate to having to accept the blame sometimes and realize your own mistakes. A moody intro, fast drum beats in the verses, and a big poppy chorus help to really drive the energy throughout this song. There’s a brief dip in the bridge but only to give you a chance to breathe leading into the second half. - Cameron
Sickass drums, a wailing guitar solo, surprise Tyler vocals and a wicked walking bass line? This is such a cool showcase of everyone’s talents in the band, and I’m really glad we chose this song to end the record. There’s also a neat momentum that builds throughout the song - it starts a little more laid back, like a breather after "Monochrome," and builds into this big conclusion to the album. The lyrics work as a farewell too, which was kind of a bonus when we were trying to put a track list together. Guess we’ll see you around! - Mitchell