THE LAST Confession
(SST) After the dust had long since settled from the L.A.
Explosion, those SoCal dudes have popped back into our hearts 12
years after the brothers Nolte decided it would be a good idea to
start a band, and fortunately they've remembered why The Last was
such a good idea in the first place. By Joe Nolte's own admission,
The Last had, after their excellent debut LP, bowed to the pressure
to tidy up their sound, a mistake which led to their demise in 1985.
After sitting around a while, the brothers got bored, rallied some
new members, and lo and behold: Confession picks up right
back where they started, on the trail of '60s retro-pop, sounding
just as fun as when the originals did it on Top Of The Pops and
Hullaballoo 23 years ago. Like their English counterparts
the Barracudas, they take the freshness, bouncy melodies and smooth
harmonies characteristic of surf and English mid-'60s groups, and
then they inject a more now-ish crunch and speed. Then again, on
occasion they also travel a line streched tight between The Jam
and Shoes, and sometimes Boyce & Hart, and sometimes maybe .
. . well, you get the idea. Well-crafted but not overproduced, the
songs have a bite but never snarl. Total shindiggers include "So
Quick To Say," "Going Gone," "It Isn't Really
You," and "Book."
from: (source unknown)
DATES THE NIGHT SHIFT CAFÉ 7/19/88 THRU 7/24/88
July 21 The Night Shift presents The Connecticut
New Music Seminar featuring three cool groups. First off the
band who inspired the Descendents, possibly the most cult
band in the U.S. today, hot on the heels of their fresh SST
album "confession", from Redondo Beach CA (sort
of LA) The Last. Formed by brothers Joe and Mike Nolte,
the Last have been together in one form or another since 1976,
and were significant in initiating the LA punk and post punk
scene. With the release of the new record and current line-up
maybe now they'll get the attention of an audience they justly
from: New Music Daily News
TONIGHT TUESDAY JULY 19
315 Bowery SST
The Last: The
Last are not necessarily the least. In fact, the band (or
fragments thereof) has been floating around since 1976, writing
songs, recruiting members and living in an abandoned church
with members of Black Flag and Red Cross. What else can be
done with sociopathic, potentially homicidal tendencies? The
first Last album was cut in 1979 and the band spent 1980 near
the top of the Los Angeles club scene. Unfortunately, after
fluttering around L.A. with less motivation than a senile
moth for five years the Last flew to a halt in 1985, leaving
in its wake six drummers, three keyboardists, two dead bass
players and 180 unusable amps. The Last had staying power,
however, and found a home on SST Records. Bandmembers are
Joe Nolte, Mike Nolte, Luke Lohnes, Dave Nazworthy, and Larry
from: The Daily Breeze Entertainer
LAST MAY BE FIRST IF 'CONFESSION' GETS HEARD
seems possible that more than a decade has passed since The
Last released "She Don't Know Why I'm Here," a roaring
rocker that came out during the wildest days of the Los Angeles
punk-rock scene. I've admired the South Bay band ever since,
through two albums and a mini-LP, a handful of superb singles,
and a slew of personnel changes.
"Confession" is the first Last album in years, since
1983's French-only "Painting Smiles on a Dead Man,"
but the band has lost none of its intensity. Leader Joe Nolte's
slashing lead guitar style remains the spark behind the band's
stripped-down sound, which happily has remained impervious
to current trends.
Nolte's distinctive vocals vary in mood from the edgy growl
of "It Isn't Really You" to the tenderness of the
acoustic "Confession." Nolte, who (along with brother
Mike) writes most of the band's material, hasn't lost his
ear for great pop hooks, as songs such as "Going Gone"
Recorded at Third Wave Recording Studio in Torrance, "Confession"
was produced by Bill Stevenson of All (formerly the Descendents),
who claims The Last as one of his early major influences.
Stevenson's production is solid, although it still fails to
capture the excitement that the band is capable of generating
As one of the best bands ever to call the South Bay home,
The Last deserve a better fate than to toil in obscurity.
Here's hoping that the excellent "Confession" will
help bring its music to a wider audience.
from: (source unknown provided by SST)
LAST CONFESSION LP
SST, they're putting out a lot of records lately and covering
a lot of turf, stylistically speaking. Naturally, I've heard
people saying, "Like, man, SST's putting out a lot of
shit lately." Yeah, like, they're into this VARIETY thing,
man. How bogus! Gee, remember the days when you didn't have
to buy a record on SST 'cause you knew what it would sound
like simply because it was SST product? Well, Confessions
is the first pop record I think I've heard on SST. That's
right, pop music. And it RULES! A strong Sixties/British Invasion
influence liberally blended with a post-punk hard-pop sound.
Like the result of the Searchers and the Descendents being
stuck in the same lifeboat for a month or two. Great guitar
work. Beautiful vocals. Lots of harmonizing. Incredible. Make
sure you're the first one to mention this record around school
come September. And about slagging SST only a true
gooberhead knocks somebody for succeeding where so many others
haven't even bothered to try.
from: L. A. Rock
LAST AT CLUB LINGERIE
Back in '81
or '82, you could cruise down to Redondo, go to a party and
hear some bands that are now a seminal part of today's music
scene Leaving Trains, The Urinals who became 100 Flowers
who became Radwaste, To Damascus who became Sylvia Juncosa,
David Roback and Kendra Smith (Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade,
Opal) all playing at a little house by the beach. There in
dwelt The Last, the alchemical midwives of the burgeoning
The Last etherised for several years. But now with their chart
climbing SST LP "Confession" and demonstrative stage
show, The Last are luring new loves and old flames into the
Don't be taken in by my retroactive reminences; The Last at
the Lingerie were as crisp as that first apple in the Garden
of Eden. The elusive melodies and haunting harmonies are as
intricate as a gothic wedding cake, the lyrics as sharp as
a switch blade. I was swung back into the textured past, spun
forward into the mysterious future. The Last shall be first,
and I can't wait to be there to see it.
from: Jersy Beat #35
MUSIC SEMINAR REPORT
JULY 15 Bailter Space / Bats / The Last, Maxwells
The 2 New Zealand bands on the top of the bill were as gamey
and third-rate as New Zealand Lamb, playing warmed-over Amerindie
rock/pop without an original idea between them. Bailter Space
generic Gerardmetal distorto/grunge sludgecore, the
Bats sticky-sweet college-radio pop/slop. The Last, reborn
after a few years hiatus, were plagued by the usual Maxwells
Mix from Hell, so the Beatlesque harmonies of their new LP
were lost in the aether. But they rocked nonetheless through
a tough, tight set of new songs, and then played two from
1979's L. A. Explosion lp that had me & Jack Rabid
turning cartwheels. Really. You shoulda been there.
from: Jersy Beat #35
THE LAST "Confession"
(SST) As much as I cherish my well-worn copy of L.
A. Explosion (circa 1979 although the material dates back
a year or two before that, the birth of the whole 60's Revival
qua Pop qua Punk Rock thing in L. A. that ultimately gave
us the Bangles, 3 O'Clock, Dream Syndicate, etc etc etc) and
while I certainly applaud the Brothers Nolte in their attempted
comback at this late date ("take a look around and you'll
see what is real / it never could have been 10 years ago"
they wrote . . . ten years or so ago), I find this LP too
lightweight, too overstuffed with Beatlesque harmonies, what
is it with the Beatles references on this record anyway? Ten
years ago they defined their pop moves from a perspective
that hovered over Hawthorne, CA (home of the Beach Boys &
surf music's birthplace, - more or less) like the cheery cherry
psychedelic balloon in "Up Up And Away." Still there's
about 8 or 9 tons more "popcraft" at work here than
on, say, the db's Sound Of Music or anything on FM
Radio so maybe we should just be glad they're back and wait
for Comeback LP #2, ok?
from: Record-Journal, Meriden, Conn.
THE LAST: CONFESSION SST Records
With roots twisting
back to 1976, the Last from Los Angeles found a way in 1988
to put pure pop joy into every note they played. Confession
was a non-stop, start-to-finish rave up, featuring bright,
melodic two-, three- and four-part harmonies riding atop crystalline
guitars and a fast-forward rhythm section.
OK, so it jangled, and we all know that jangle is passe, but
the Last did it without a hint of self-consciousness.
The Last songs are written primarily by guitarist Joe Nolte
and occasionally by his keyboardist brother, Mike. Their lyrics
were not always as pretty as the instrumental packaging. Death
was a big theme, as was lost love, but in the end all the
songs were about searching for salvation.
The best cut among so many good ones on Confession
was "Going Gone," a song about those special times
in life when you fall madly in love on a subway or waiting
in line for a MacBurger.
"The greatest love I ever had / Was over before it ever
began," concluded the lead singer with sadness in his
voice after leading listeners through a description of the
A quick and pleasing record, Confession was 1988 garage
rock at its best.
from: PHFUDD #13
Last CONFESSION (SST) I remember hearing 'bout
these guys back in '79 and marveled at the fact they were a
mod take on six-oh scree... later heard about their associations
w/then-cool Redd Kross, Black Flag and the Urinals but gave
'em up fr dead until I read about the Los Angeles psychedelic
renaissance in BUCKET FULL OF BRAINS during the summer of '83.
After that... nothing again, until this arrived in the mail.
Having taken them fr naught all this time I was surprised, tho
not elated or anything because the stuff I did hear from the
Last (a few shards besides their Bomp! EP from '82) really wasn't
that exhilarating. More or less dreary takes on LA late-sixties
attack (Lollipop Shoppe, Seeds...) if you're living (barely),
but this new one shows a more varied side to the band. Haven't
heard their famed death of the garage band thing from '80, and
gotta say that part of this still suffers from some sorta barbituate
OD, but on the whole this does surprise the wary, from the Raspberries-ish
early '70's pop-rock of "Book" to the introspective
intellectual tone throughout. While this ain't en toto pop masterpiece
scree it does hold up and more-n a few moments make fr hot Californian
from: FILE 13 #2
Confession (SST) The Last harken back
to the garage days of the 60's, and do it better than most.
Confession's first two tracks, "So Quick to Say"
and "Another Side," deserve to be hits in any decade,
with energetic guitar strumming and a punchy drum sound. And
most of all, they're just damn good songs. But while "And
They Laugh" features nice vocal harmonies and Byrds-like
six-string, the other songs on this LP don't measure up.
One assumes they meant "Byrds-like 12 string" .
from: Sheet Metal #4
GONNA REVIEW THE LAST IN SHEET METAL?!!" Ex Black
Flagger Chuck Dukowski howled at me o'er the phone. Duke's been
convinced I'm insane for some time now, but I don't see what's
so nuts about reviewin' "Confession" (SST), the new
reunion LP from L. A. punk pioneers The Last, in a metal mag.
It's a great fuckin' record. Where they once bowed 'fore Iggy's
altar, now they careen along a jangly path like a supercharged
Byrds with steroid-pumped Rickenbackers. Joe Nolte's quirky-herky-jerky
vocalizin's certainly enough to yank this from cutesy '60's
revoism, but tunes like "Going Gone" would be the
tits in any era. The sorta pop spoot ya don't feel guilty about
takin' home to yer slime-covered Bang and Olufson.