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Stream the Ontario punks’ debut album among legends and read a track-by-track breakdown

Ontario Punks Among the legends‘ first album take good care 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 preview stream in this post. Speaking of recent single “Monochrome,” we said Among Legends kinda sounds like the middle ground between The Menzingers and Alkaline Trio, and if you like those bands or others of that ilk, you’re probably going to dig this whole LP. too. It’s one ripper after another, with occasional departures (like the slower, spoken word-infused “Rigged”), and just about every song is jam-packed 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, the writing/recording processes, some aspects of the songs that really matter to them, and more. Again. Stream the LP and read on for what they had to say…

“Five years”

We wanted a high-energy song to launch the record, and “Five Years” fit the bill perfectly. It’s got that double-beat drum beat that’s essential to any punk rock record, a melodic chorus with lovely harmonized ‘whoas’, gang vocals in the bridge and a killer guitar solo – what more could you ask for? When we recorded the album, I’m pretty sure Tyler nailed that solo in 1-2 takes like a champ – now we play it every gig because not only is “Five Years” a debut of ideal album, but it makes for a very good 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/evolve. This song reminds me of that age when all you can do is live carefree and in the moment. The verse’s airy guitar chords and dynamic bass notes create a sweeping landscape with driving energy without sounding chaotic or anxious. I like the pre-chorus in this song; the spacey guitar riff and uplifting bassline shift the song’s tone from the nostalgic past to the reflective present found in the chorus. -Tyler

“Magnolia”

“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 favorite and we knew it had to be included on the album. In general, it’s a really fun song to play, it’s a bit slower (for us) and it gives everyone leeway to be creative. The singing is a highlight for me, when Mitchell showed up for practice and tried that vocal delivery in the second half of verse two I think the rest of us lost our minds, that’s such a big part. -Sara

“Oceans”

Something I find really cool about some songs is how the band takes a melody you’ve heard before and puts new chords under it to create something new. For me, that was the highlight of putting “Oceans” together: we do two choruses in a certain way, then we change it after the bridge to give it new life in the second half of the song. Another highlight was hearing Anthony’s bass in the verses once we started learning the song together – he gives it a bounce that keeps the energy going, even when we go light on the guitars. -Mitchell

“Come Swing”

This is my personal swelling song. It’s about overcoming adversity and sticking to stuff even when that little voice in my head is telling me to stop. There’s something so addictive about Cameron’s guitar riff in the choruses – it works so well I honestly think I could just listen to the chorus music of this song over and over until my ears stop to work. I don’t know if Sara, Anthony and I will ever be able to convince Cameron and Tyler that we should write ska songs, but it’s a ska song in disguise. -Mitchell

“11318”

The lyrics of this song come from a combination of different members’ experiences when things weren’t going well or they were in a bad place. Everyone’s life is a succession of ups and downs and it is not always easy to get out of it; Sometimes you need a lifeline from family or friends. The first verse starts with someone who can’t bring himself 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 become a little less “emo” to match the overall message of the song which is to “hold on, because this life is worth it”. -Cameron

“Baywatch”

This song is unique to this album because Anthony wrote the music! Usually it’s me or Cameron who write the music, but I like it when the other band members do something in their own style. My first job in Toronto was at Adelaide & Victoria, right in the heart of downtown. I cycled to work every day and wrote the lyrics to this song to, uh, honor some people who didn’t seem to appreciate my being 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 plenty of protected bike lanes downtown. Chance? Yes. -Mitchell

“Days Like These”

When we were writing this song, the instrumental-only placeholder name was “Spring Song”. However, the lyrics evolved into more of a post-breakup song with a reminder that relationships come and go, but you can always count on your friends to save you in the end. The verses are a little more relaxed and open which gives way to a tight punk rock chorus. -Cameron

“Doggy Style”

“Greyhound” is a song that explores some unstable feelings about a personal relationship and has a great push/pull feel to it. The guitars and bass bounce from chord to chord and remind me of the way passing streetlights dance around car windows when driving on the freeway at night. I love the drums in the chorus, they create such a catchy sound with lots of energy without sounding angry or chaotic. Perfect for the “Greyhound” theme. Also, the bass tone is quite sick. -Tyler

“Rigged”

“Rigged” is one of those songs that we thought would never come together. We had a lot of really interesting pieces and we 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 deliver what I consider somewhat unique with the spoken word and unusual structure of the song. I still have no idea how to play most of this song, it all came together in the studio almost unconsciously. It’s a song worth listening to many times in a row. -Tyler

“Manifest”

“Manifesto” is a bit of an unconventional song for us, both thematically and compositionally. Many of the lyrics on this album are quite personal, but “Manifesto” looks outward at some societal issues that were prevalent at the time and perhaps have become more relevant in recent years. There’s also a fun lyrical callback to an old song among the legends hidden in there, if you’re aware. From a songwriting perspective, someone once described this song as being a bunch of different chorus parts stitched together, which I think is a good way to look at it. “Manifesto” went through quite a few revisions before we finally figured out how to make it work, and I’m glad we did! -Sara

“Monochrome”

It’s one of my favorite 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 sometimes having to accept blame and realize their own mistakes. A moody intro, fast drum beats in the verses, and a big poppy chorus help really drive the energy throughout this song. There’s a brief dip in the deck, but only to give you a chance to breathe before the second half. -Cameron

“Overview”

Crazy drums, a moaning guitar solo, a surprise vocal from Tyler and a walking bass line? It’s such a cool showcase of the talents of everyone in the band, and I’m really glad we picked this song to end the album with. There’s also a neat momentum that builds throughout the song – it starts off a little more laid back, like a break after “Monochrome”, and builds into this great conclusion to the album. The lyrics also work as a goodbye, which was kind of a bonus when we were trying to put together a tracklist. I guess we’ll see you! -Mitchell