The first release is so important for a band to exhibit themselves, to show the world their capabilities and capture their initial fanbase. The more popular and practical option taken by the majority of new bands over the last few years is to first release EPs to ensure quality of the record and to test the water with their music before embarking in an expensive full-length record. Two EPs down, Nevada’s Last Call are back with their first LP and you can certainly see the leaps and bounds they’ve come on since their earlier work.
You’re immediately tempted into ‘Dog Years’ by the catchy drum introduction to ‘Generation Gap’, before being thrown into the energy that is the perfected sound of Last Call. The vocals on the song are the biggest improvement by being so much tighter, yet remaining as gritty and pure as ever. “We’re all liars and hypocrites” will be ringing in your ears for the foreseeable future.
Fast-paced tracks ‘Braid’ and ‘Live Like Roark’ show that pop-punk can still be aggressive as well as melodic, and doesn’t always have to be about hair gel and high school girls.
When taking a well-deserved break from the mosh pit material, Last Call slow the pace down one notch with ‘Winter Clothes’, which sees the band testing out a slightly different vibe with encouraging results. The song broadcasts the exciting riffs the band churn out, with Austin Jeffers‘ warming vocals cementing this as one of the band’s best tracks to date. ‘Dog Years’ even dares to have an interlude in ‘Limbo’, which shows the technical ability of the band and keeps the album flowing.
Lead single, ‘Bones’, includes the rest of the band on backup vocals and harmonising duties which works powerfully over the crashing of cymbals backed up by the catchiest chorus of the lot. This is sure to grab the attention of pop-punk fans everywhere.
‘Dog Years’ is such a refreshing stand out album in a genre that’s rarely producing anything groundbreaking of late. The authentic feel of the band really catches your attention and shows that D.I.Y. ethics, such as releasing the album from their own label, Broken Arrow Collective, really pay off because you can feel the hard work that has gone in to the writing, recording and distributing of this new material.
Although Last Call with inevitably be compared to The Wonder Years for their similar style and sound, ‘Dog Years’ is an excellent start to what could be a rewarding few years for the Las Vegas group.
Written by Mike Heath