American post-hardcore quartet Our Last Night may be widely known for their renditions of pop covers, but as ‘Let Light Overcome’ displays, they can create equally as memorable songs on their own. The fifth full-length from the group is a streamlined and muscular display of what the group has to offer after fifteen years.
Opening with pulsing synths and rhythmic vocal patterns from Trevor Wentworth, ‘Demons’ quickly builds from clean finger picking and falsetto towards percussive guitars and screamed vocals. Packed tight with melodic variations, chanted hooks and a capella breaks, the track wastes little time in getting the record going.
The streamlined energy continues throughout the record, taking cues from metal and pop music in equal measure. ‘Bury The Hatchet’ showcases both Trevor‘s vocal capabilities and Matt Wentworth‘s guitar skills. Built around grinding riffs and tremolo picking, the track keeps a tight grip on the burgeoning energy before allowing the chorus to highlight the vocal interplay between the brothers.
Taking a break from the high-energy record, ‘The Darkness’ revolves around a shifting ostinato. Short, simple, and effective, the melody modulates as the reverb heavy vocal hook of “Overcome the darkness” rises to the forefront. Ending abruptly, the track works as a perfect segue to ‘Castle In The Sky’.
Jarring chords and angular riffs give way to cycling pads and swung drumbeats before launching into staccato guitars and wide vocal hooks. Tim Molloy holds the track up, providing a strong backbone to the wall of sound and the instrumentally led bridge before adding dynamic texture to the simple coda.
Whilst the record doesn’t break new ground sonically and a lot of the techniques used are commonplace in their contemporaries, few groups have managed to cram as much in and for it to stay cohesive. Switching from modulating synths to jolting guitars, Our Last Night has managed to combine their influences coherently and effectively.
Ending the record with ‘Everytime Our Earth Shakes’, the group takes the listener on a journey filled with cycling guitars, hammering drums, and dual vocal melodies at a furious pace. Filled with twists and turns, the track belies its economic runtime.
Whilst the record may not be long nor does it tread unchartered territory, it does carve out a niche for the group. ‘Let Light Overcome’ is a record that strengthens the new phase of post-hardcore, and it wastes no time in doing so.