Friday, August 27, 2021

Dark, dystopian and defiant; Legss are back with their new single ‘Hyde Park Coroner’

London four-piece Legss are wordsmiths and prophets, casting a critical yet jocular eye on the anxieties of the modern experience. 

Their debut EP, ‘Doomswayers’, took us on a jaded journey through a nightmare city, coating it in a stark post-punk sound that is both reminiscent of the genre’s heyday and insistent of our own time. 

This journey continues in ‘Hyde Park Coroner’, a startling track that is rife with black humour, droll vocal delivery and carefully contained aggravation that is always on the verge of spilling out. If the pun-driven title elicits a smirk, then the lyrics are sure to coax out a dry cackle – the kind you would make at some morbid family gathering where the air is just a bit too stifling, and the jokes are just a bit too on the nose. Mind you, this is not a negative comment, but merely a stress on the visceral power of this deliciously dystopian vision.

With a particular sensitivity to the young British experience and bittersweet attachment to their London roots, Legss write music that is steeped in urban experience, evoking a sense of modern dystopia with their signature wry humour. Here they zoom in on Hyde Park Corner, a central London junction that brings to mind a barrage of associations – from the infamously shambolic tourist-trap that is the Marble Arch Mound and the beginning of the dreaded congestion charge, to the elusive promise of democracy that is The Speaker’s Corner. It almost feels like a strange no man’s land, shifting between privilege and popular exploitation, and only the park – where “all that is green becomes silent and nice” – offers a moment of escape.

Kicking off with militant drums and heavy guitar riffs, the track plunges us into a paranoid world that has somehow gone askew. Somewhere between being “crucified or stoned” we are faced with a cacophony of puns, demands, associations and failed understandings. Tethering between poetic detachment and feverish hysteria, Ned Green’s commanding vocals spit out lyrics pregnant with despair and acrid wit. The stark guitars strum in some deranged invitation to a mental-breakdown. Ebbing and flowing like the duck-and-tourist-filled Serpentine, the track finally arrives at an unexpectedly upbeat crescendo, concluding this bleak picture with a glimmer of the protagonist and his companion as they “circle the park, arm in arm”. Yet even this romantic moment is touched with the ominous breath of the “bone-rich city”, leaving us at the mercy of an outspoken world that doesn’t care to listen.

Hyde Park Coroner’ is a modern fairy tale, amusing and bemusing in equal measure. It is a cry for help and a defiant stand against the horrors of society. Ultimately, it is a paradox – an anthem for our bewildering times and uncertain futures.

Liza Kupreeva


Image: Official Single Artwork


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