Hopefully NOT the Last
In the mid 1970s, three brothers formed the California power pop group The Last. It is now almost 40 years later and they are still releasing records, the most recent of which is Danger. Starting out as a progressively punk-sounding surf rock band, The Last has certainly matured throughout the years and, along with the inclusion of Descendents’ rhythm section Karl Alvarez (bass) and Bill Stevenson (drums), adopted a heavier sound. Danger sounds exactly what you’d expect members of the Descendents playing power pop to produce– it’s catchy, poppy and makes you want to jump out of your seat and dance, all while raging as hard as any good punk record should.
There are tracks on The Last’s first record, L.A. Explosion! that easily could have made it on to a darker Beach Boys record, but from the first fuzzy, driving bassline at the beginning of Danger’s opening track “I Know,” it’s clear that these boys are definitely not stuck in the ’70s. The Last haven’t completely abandoned their surf-pop inspired sound though, including songs like “I Don’t Know What to Say” on the record, showing listeners the softer side of their increasingly aggressive sound. Descendents fans should also rejoice over the release of this record, with songs like “Anybody Else” that sound like they could be ripped straight from Everybody Sucks, if it was produced next to the beach.
Danger will undoubtedly appeal to a wide range of punk fans. It’s catchy and upbeat enough to attract pop punk and power pop fans, it includes of two members of the legendary Descendents, and there’s definitely enough anger behind the vocals and guitars to keep harder punk fans interested. With a combination like that it’s clear why they’ve lasted for so long, though hopefully this new record will garner them the attention they’ve deserved these past 40 years. With so many records under their belt, we can assume that they’re not stopping anytime soon and hopefully that’s the case.