LOST LEGION, a band from Chicago’s underground music scene, blends dark, aggressive hardcore punk with elements of Oi, noise, and gloomy guitars, making a distinct mark in the local landscape. Their upcoming album, “Behind the Concrete Veil”, set for release in March on the Basque label Mendeku Diskak, promises to plunge listeners into the depths of mental health struggles and psychedelic revelations.
“I wrote the lyrics to 8 of the 10 songs on this record,” reveals the band’s lyricist, offering a window into a soul navigating the tumultuous seas of mental health and the enigmatic lessons of psychedelic journeys. The opening track, “War Machine,” serves as a philosophical inquiry into consciousness, likened to a dog misunderstanding its reflection for another entity. It’s a metaphor for life’s quest: to recognize the mirror rather than the adversary it seems to present.
“Behind the Concrete Veil” delves into the labyrinth of seeking mental health aid, only to emerge more entangled. The album’s narrative arc stretches from existential musings to critiques of societal constructs, with the artwork—a depiction of evolution and celestial aspiration—mirroring these themes. Songs like “The Animals We Used to Be” explore the evolution beyond one’s subcultural roots, while “Fangs” and “Silhouettes In Blue Light” confront street and police violence, respectively.
Drummer Dave contributes his lyrical prowess to two tracks, “Disposed” and “Staring Down the Valley,” reflecting on the plight of low-wage essential workers during the COVID era and the ominous shadow of artificial intelligence.
LOST LEGION draws inspiration from a spectrum of ancestors. “The Effigies, an early Chicago punk band, are a huge influence on us,” they share, acknowledging the dark, aggressive, yet catchy essence of The Effigies’ sound that permeates their own. The New York band the Templars and The Trouble from Boston also significantly shape their sonic identity, alongside the gloomy melodies of Masshysteri, the riff-driven His Hero Is Gone, and the inadvertently emulated Replacements.
Their local and broader music scene connections paint a picture of a band deeply embedded in the fabric of modern hardcore, Oi, and punk.
From playing alongside bands like Claimed Choice and Poison Ruin to preparing for a tour with Soft Kill and GUMM, LOST LEGION is both a participant in and contributor to the vibrant tapestry of their musical community.
The band’s commentary on their musical influences and peers, coupled with their own lyrical and sonic explorations, sets the stage for “Behind the Concrete Veil” to be more than just an album. It is a manifesto, a shared experience of introspection, critique, and communal expression, resonating with the dark, reflective, and often tumultuous journey of our condition ad humans.
As LOST LEGION stands ready to unveil *Behind the Concrete Veil*, their narrative is one of confrontation and exploration, an invitation to look beyond the facade of existence and delve into the depths of personal and collective identity.
“Chicago, Milwaukee, and Northwest Indiana (“NWI”) are all close scenes and mix together. Fuerza Bruta is still active (though I’m not a member anymore), and there are other great bands going. These are some modern bands (active since 2020) that we are friends with and/or fans of.” – comments the band.
Early LA punk as it was verging on HC (The Middle Class, Randoms, etc). Sharp and insightful lyrics over tight songs.
Christine, the singer, did vocals on our cover of the Go-Go’s song “Tonite”, which we released on an EP called ‘Bridging Eelectricity’. Obviously we are fans. Reminds me of when the Damned went dark, but with some dusty early LA vibes.
Like if R Crumb had been in a punk band. Do you remember the proto punk outfits The Shit Dogs or Rubber City Rebels? Man-Eaters do. (the guitarist of this band did the cover art for our LP)
A frantic and loose take on USHC. I’ve seen this band a couple times and they make me feel young again.
The guitars are somehow catchy while also essentially being a rhythmic element. They do so much with so little, the mark of a good hardcore band.
Pitch perfect UK82 from a group of guys who could single-handedly out drink the entire United Kingdom.
World in Action
Milwaukee peace punk. Music about how awful the world is that you can also dance to
These guys put out the coolest, most in-your-face cassette last year and then broke up. One of those bands that make you excited to still be into HC
Heavy and fast. It’s hardcore from a punk mindset, but they’re all into good metal. Not a record in a hype genre, so they don’t get much attention, but they’re a killer band doing their own thing.
Jangley garage punk/power pop. Quick, snappy songs that get caught in your head.
Our music scene outside our local scene:
“We’re a part of the oi scene, a small but growing offshoot of punk. The Basque label Mendeku Diskak is the main label releasing stuff in our world, and are releasing this LP. They previously released a 7” reissue of our demo “Autoproduktion” and have released records for some of the best modern bands including The Chisel (UK), MESS (Mexico), Cuero (Spain), and Fuerza Bruta. There are other labels putting out great stuff (Longshot, Try and Stop Me, Rock n Roll Disgrace, Mr Face, Crossbar, Lionheart, Battle Scarred…it’s a small scene, but a lot of people in it want to support bands they love).” – says the band.
“I used to run a label called Foreign Legion Records that attempted to bring together the more aggressive and fringe elements of punk/hardcore/oi and never quite got it working. It’s very cool to see other labels actually do it successfully.”
Here are some bands from the band’s current scene to check out.
Baltimore oi with heavy chorused-guitars and hardcore breakdowns. I met these guys when their other band, B.R.A.T., played with our other band, War Effort, and they were telling me about this project. The cassette just dropped and it’s three quick bursts of thoughtful and gloomy modern oi.
Members of Legion 76/New York Hounds turning in dirty, modern oi. As catchy as it is mean.
These guys have put out two EPs of dirty and rough oi. Party music for outcasts. I love the samples and production.
Fast, burly German oi-core. Their sound is big and their songs are direct, and I love their simple approach towards visual presentation.
Sharp, stripped-down rock n oi. The songs are a fun and energetic with take on pub rock and first wave oi. Did they steal from Golden Earring? I think they did, and I like it.
One of my favorite modern bands. Absolutely evil sounding. Their first EP blew me away and every other release keeps getting better
They’ve been active for several years and have progressed into a creative force. Their most recent EP treads new ground while still using classics as the point of reference. Essential.
Road dogs that have brought their brand of hardcore/oi to every corner of the US. One of the best live bands of modern times
Lo-fi and authentic with melodic songs. They remind me of early Templars in fidelity, but the music has more influence from 90s west coast oi bands with a melodic bent. Killer art and throaty vocals.
Super young kids playing American oi. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for kids that come into the scene hard and start bands. The songs are economic and well structured with clean vocals.