I listen to so much music sometimes that it is hard to keep everything
in the proper chronological order, and I begin to judge things
by it. Take Last Conservative for example, I popped them
in and from note one I had them pegged as a Dashboard Confessional
knock-off. I had this whole review in my head where I was going
to make fun of corporate designed knock-off bands; there is nothing
I hate worse than a band establishing a viable (read: sellable)
sound, and every business shmoe jumping on the bandwagon to make
a pretty penny at the expense of the bands they think they can
fit in the designated mold. Now that I got that minor rant out,
I can admit I was wrong about Last Conservative; it wasn't until
I was doing some background research into the band that I realized
that this band has been around twice as long as Dashboard, and
therefore couldn't be drawing from that now popular well. At least
in the other review I had, I gave them credit for being talented,
so I am not totally abashed.
But nevertheless, it is hard not to compare the two bands side-by-side
due to the many inherent similarities of style and substance.
Both bands evoke true and raw emotion to satisfy that emo designation.
Both have great songwriting and lyrics, both elicit awesome hooks
and completely singable vocal lines. Also, both tend to get a
little wimpy/whiney on certain tracks as they emote. But that
is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, because
both bands know how to put out a solid album covering a lot of
ground without truly sounding the same. Dashboard Confessional
will always have a certain place in my music collection because
they were the first of the new-style emo that I really latched
onto. But now right next to them I have to place Last Conservative,
because pound for pound they can hold their own, if not exceed,
Dashboard Confessional in sound.
I have to admit that I got my hopes high listening to the first
track "On to the next one". When I heard this specific
song I was floored because it was the exact amount of heavy for
me without being obnoxious and maintaining a good level of pop.
Finding that G-spot for me is a rarity, and I hoped it would continue,
but alas, that was the heaviest song on the album. But maybe it
was for the better that the album didn't follow this precursor,
as every song varies in different degrees and kept me interested
from track 1 to 13, a good solid album.
Production for the album was impeccable; the instruments are
balanced nicely with clean breaks and succinct instrument lines.
"Car Alarm", and "Irish" stick out for their
use of the former, and then fill the sound out with interesting
changes and builds. The songwriting is just good, and at places
witty, as there is an almost tongue-in-cheek approach to the songs.
"Mary", though, holds a special place for me on this
album as it breaks down to simplicity and effectively uses subtle
piano, strings and horns, while the vocals just bleed on the track.
Not many albums can use strings without being cheesey and Last
Conservative pulls it off beautifully.
This is just a damn good album, I don't know if I could say anything
1) On to the Next One
2) Can't Get Away From You
3) Over My Head
5) Anything But Goodbye
6) Hope and Pray
7) Car Alarm
8) Come Down
9) Keep Your Promises
10) Hey Hey
12) I Know You Know I Know
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