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First Listen: Bantum – Legion (album stream)

First Listen: Bantum – Legion (album stream)


If you’ve been following Ruairi Lynch’s productions as Bantum in the last few years you will perhaps have noticed a natural progression. While his early EP sounded like the work of a musician finding his feet and his sound, with every passing remix or EP, that sound has got more distinctive, and there’s no better time than on a debut album for that to really ring true right?; As this 11-track collection of all-new impressively self-produced songs shows.

Lynch’s guitar is his instrument of choice, bestowing the record much of its texture, creating a starry-eyed mood when paired with synthesizer notes for the four instrumental tracks and providing much of anchor in the songs featuring vocalists. Away from her own band’s angular kraut-punk, Logikparty’s Benni Johnson shows another side to her character on two tracks, the celestial Celtic tones of ‘Send Me Under’ and the direct electro stabs of opener ‘No More. The previously-introduced title track featuring Margie Lewis is a standout but she wraps up the tension-filled synths of ‘Fedora’ in her vaporous voice also. R.S.A.G provides some percussive colour on ‘For The Day’ while former KVX singer Eimear O’Donovan teams up with Owensie on the giddy pop highlight of ‘Roll Part.2’ and the pair fit together wonderfully, O’Donovan’s voice providing the sweet melody and Owensie underpinning the track with a Jape-esque rasp with lyrics in Portugese.

Legion is brimming with coherent musical ideas but where before they didn’t always gel together; the longer format, the featuring repeating guests and Lynch’s own burgeoning production skills have combined to make Legion his best work to date and a damn fine album.

Legion is launched on the 12th in the Workman’s with support from REID and Ghosts. The album is out next Friday on Eleven Eleven.