…And now for something completely different! Today I’m doing an album review. Honestly, the timing on this one is just right. If you’re looking for a soundtrack to for your spooky season activities, this just might be the album for you.
What I’m putting in my earballs today is the album Bridge Burners by Legion. For lack of a better term, they are a horrorcore hip hop group from right here in East Tennessee. As I’ve gotten old, that particular style of music has gotten harder and harder to listen to. I can’t stomach most of the new shit coming out and the few albums I’ll still spin from time to time are pretty old. Legion manages to take all of my favorite parts of old school horrorcore, blend them up, and create something that feels fresh while at the same time knowing its roots.
When I listen to a new artist, I can usually relate them to something I’ve heard pretty quickly. I had a hell of a time doing it while listening to Bridge Burners. I half expected to be able to draw comparisons to bigger acts like Twiztid, ICP, or even Dark Lotus given the five-man lineup. I didn’t find that, though. With the lack of cartoony lyrics and gimmicks, I compare Legion more to someone like Brotha Lynch or Doomsday Productions. Their music is visceral, violent, and unrelenting; the way it should be.
You can have all the dope lyrics in the world and put them over a lame ass beat and everything will fall apart. This is something that the folks at Innard Orchard productions are obviously aware of because the beats on this album are fucking nice. With music like this, the beats really serve as a score to the horror story you’re telling. The mood set by the instrumental is key to bringing everything together in the end and these cats nail it every time.
Another thing that I found really cool is the song structure. You don’t get the usual verse/chorus/verse here. Each track is like a themed cypher with pre-written bars instead of freestyles. Honestly, I dig it. Something a little different is kind of nice once in awhile.
Something I really respect about these dudes is that while they know their horrorcore roots, they’re not trying to ride anyone’s coattails. They’re not coming out trying to appeal to this subgroup of fans or the other. Instead of glomming onto someone else’s style or lingo, these dudes blaze their own path within their musical niche. In a world of cookie cutter bullshit some originality is a damn fine change.
Here’s my caveat: listening to truly underground and independent music is like watching a truly independent film. You have to understand how much is being done with a shoestring budget. These aren’t dudes who are funded by a cult of fans or a corporation. These are passionate, down-to-earth dudes honing their skills both on the mic and behind a mixing board. Are there some things that could’ve been mixed better? Sure. Are there a few places where delivery of breath control could have been improved? Yeah. The Important question here is “Was this a good album from start to finish?” and the answer is yes.
I met the dudes from Legion while doing battle with my liver at CreepyCon last year and they were just putting their album together. This year, while battling my old nemesis once again, they showed up with a USB drive containing Bridge Burners. While I am left wondering if they’re just hallucinations that show up when I drink at conventions, you can listen to this album on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, and many other music platforms. Go check it out. You can follow Legion/Innard Orchard Productions on Instagram or like their Facebook page or subscribe to their YouTube and check out their videos.