The Legend of XERO is certainly a distinctive and interesting individual. Producing a unique brand of dark, Industrial-Goth, Pop and Hip-Hop for several years now- The Legend of XERO (his real name unknown) has already released multiple albums, his most recent being Ascension: The Creative Power of the Imagination, released earlier this year. This album features XERO’s most popular track to date, titled ‘Zombies’. Much like the majority of XERO’s music, ‘Zombies’ features influences spanning an array of different styles including EDM, Rock and Industrial with a contemporary pop sensibility in the songs structure, lyrics and vocal melodies.
This seems to be a new development these days in music. It’s getting harder and harder to pinpoint the genre of a song in an era of globalisation- where we have such easy access to styles of music from all over the world. Couple this with advancements in home production techniques and accessibility to countless samples of any instrument or sound imaginable and you’re going to come up with some really interesting music, which is exactly what The Legend of XERO seems intent on providing. One concern that is raised from developments like this is that with so much information being so easily available, there can be a tendency to dip in and out of many different styles and not really excel in one particular field, resulting in an artist forever meandering in a sea of jumbled up mediocrity.
‘Zombies’ instrumentation is notably busy, yet varied and interesting. It consists of a peculiar blend of distorted guitar, hard hitting drums and an array of electronic noises and effects, sounding not entirely dissimilar to the kind of glitchy 8-bit sounds that many of us grew accustomed to hearing in video games. The lyrics are poignant in that they detail the mundane and repetitive lives which many of us lead and the personal struggle that goes with avoiding such a fate. Despite the wacky effects, the overall song structure is about as conventional as it gets and make no mistake; this is a pop song at its core. The vocal melody is strong albeit somewhat cliché, however the significant usage of auto-tune throughout does seem like a bit much. There is a lot of debate about auto-tune these days, but it can be an effective tool in the same way using a certain guitar pedal is often appropriate for certain songs. In this case, the effect works to a point and does match the vibe represented by the electronic effects, but could definitely benefit with being toned down somewhat. The highlight of ‘Zombies’ has to be the climax towards the end which really does sound truly professional and really does a horrific job at leaving your head.