In a culture running out of ideas, the new Young Legionnaire album has something to say – even if it’s just goodbye.” – Gordon Moakes
‘Zero Worship’ is a record fighting to be heard in a sea of noise, both literally and conceptually. Recognising there are vast swathes of new music releases destined to go unlistened, ‘Zero Worship’ is pulled along by the tide, but swimming against it too. It’s political, in other words, at a time when musicians seem afraid to confront issues and ideas head on. Its subjects are many: the failure of the internet to set us free from the powers that be; the rise of post-truth politics; the increasing polarisation of online communities; the image of the anonymous protestor, embodying “a collective hope, in a hopeless time.”
Never before has Young Legionnaire – comprising former Yourcodenameis:milo frontman Paul Mullen, ex-Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes and Dean Pearson on drums – realised this fully their musical vision, washing out their taut melodies, math and post-rock influences in a carefully crafted wall of distortion. Armed with storming tracks like anthemic up-tempo lead single ‘Disappear’, a rallying call against “the narrow, backward-thinking powers of corporatism, nationalism and fundamentalism,” the spiralling grunge grind of ‘Sawn-Off Shotgun’, the stop-start mathematic acrobatics of ‘Heart Attack’ or the bass-led atmospheric alt-rock drive of ‘Hail, Hail’ they’re doing their best to land a killing blow. Paul’s trademark scream cuts through the mix like jumper leads meeting flesh, while the rhythm section fills out the tracks with textural flourish or counterpoint riffs as the occasion requires.
The band have now shared the video for ‘Candidate’ with bassist ’ Gordon Moakes commenting, ‘“Musician and film-maker Frankie Riedel approached us with a vision for the song ‘Candidate’ back in the summer and we were happy to give him pretty much free reign to create a short film for it. There was something about the song’s sinuous, insistent bass line that as soon as it was written had a feeling of dark powers at work – a creeping, runaway feel of danger and misanthropy. Given that we were intending ‘Zero Worship’ to be kind of a state-of-the-nation of all things cultural and ‘now’, it soon became evident that ‘Candidate’ should be about the political process in our current time, its reliance on big money and shapeshifting personalities. It seems none more fitting in the wake of recent political events, and Frankie has really captured all of that in his own dark vision for the song.”