Last One Alive…There’s a song by that name by one of the many bands I have followed for years. And it’s a good song. Bands name made me miss the song and…Okay, we’re going off topic.
Last One Alive is a band that makes music that is of the heavy disposition. They hail from South Africa and are a pretty cool group of guys and I have seen proof of this. During their virtual press launch, they mentioned the album art being done by the “Phantom 6th Man” of the group. He has a name but that’s not the point. The point is ANIME REFERENCE!!!!!!! No one who likes anime can be an uncool douche-bag 🙂
Okay on with the review of their début EP.
The EP kicks off with the track “Runaway” which is the opener. Three riffs are solid, the screams are well done, albeit a bit monotonous with regards to range. The cleans were actually cool. Like, really cool. Didn’t feel like some bands “screamed verses, sung choruses” formula where the cleans feel like they were just put there for the sake of the…..well….formula. The cleans fit right in with the style and sound of the band. The production, mixing mastering and all that is really on point and is clear from the first minute of this song.
Up next is “kiss the ground” and on this track, the screams feel more….passionate and have more of a…punch to them. It may not be noticeable at first listen but it’s there. It’s at this point I started to get a feel for the band’s sounds overall. I was kinda expecting there to be lead guitar riffs of the string picking group but… didn’t get it. But the riffs here are not a chug fest or monotonous. I have to say, despite the not-so-showy riff work, the music does manage to still be interesting to listen to. Took me a couple of spins to appreciate it, but that’s more due to my taste and not the band’s songwriting.
Then comes MY FAVORITE track on the EP, “Blood and Salt”. It’s….I dunno. It reminds me of so many bands at once…well not so many like…1,000,000….But still…A good number. The part where the title of the song was sung, has this dreary depressing feel to it. Reminded me a bit of ballad done by the band Demon Hunter. The overall song structure had this alternate metal/post-grunge vibe that made me a bit nostalgic….the opening segment brought the band drowning pool to mind. Honestly, it’s a good song. And it’s at this point I started to really appreciate the cleans on this EP.
“Revolt” kick things into more intense territory again. But with a lot more cleans than in the first two tracks. And more cool cleans. It’s a pretty gung-ho track though. Even the band members feel that it’s a track that’s sure to get a crowd moving and singing.
“Coming Apart Again” is the Earworm of the EP. It’s arguably got the catchiest chorus among all the songs on this record. This is also the most “radio-friendly” song on the album. And it’s not a bad thing to have a track or two like this among the more aggressive stuff. Keeps things from getting repetitive.
The EP closer “Dead in the water” has this every guitar segment in the opening riff which was pretty cool. This is probably the heaviest track on the record with the first half of the song not having any clean singing in it. While it’s not a bad song…It’s probably the one I enjoyed the least. Maybe if Blood and salt was the album closer…? Nah its good where it is. Highlights the diversity among the tracks better, smack down in the middle. Oh well. Moving on.
I’ll be honest I was a bit underwhelmed when I first listened to this EP. Felt like it wasn’t as….heavy as I was lead to believe. But even in that state of mind Blood and Salt just…strummed the strings of my soul and made me look t the entire EP differently upon the consecutive listens.
This EP is WELL DONE. It may not be super inventive and unique but what it does, it does very well. Honestly, the only bad thing I can say about this EP, besides the closing track not really being as good a closer as I wanted, is that due to its not-so-super-unique sound it may easily fly under some peoples radars as just another one of the band in….” that genre”. But the quality of the work they’ve done cannot be denied.
Rock on, Dudes. \m/