From right under
our noses, one of the South Bay's longest-lived and most criminally
underappreciated bands The Last have re-emerged with
one of the year's best records.
The Last have been
around in one form or another since the mid-1970s. Its ever-shifting
lineups always have included the Nolte brothers: Joe on lead guitar
and vocals, Mike on keyboards and backing vocals and David on bass.
David left the band
some years ago and went on to play with Wednesday Week, followed
by his current work with Maria McKee, british songwriter David Gray
and his own fine band Lucky.
The other two brothers
have carried on the group; "Gin & Innuendoes" is the
band's first release since 1989's "Awakening" (also on
Longtime L.A. producer
Earle Mankey not only has captured the explosive dynamics the band
has always shown live, but also has given them a fuller, more powerful
sound than on prior recordings.
Track after track
bristles with melodicism and drive, from the crackling, rockabilly-influenced
"Sleep" with its dizzying guitar runs, to the hypnotic,
dreamlike "Sirens" and the irresistibly catchy rocker
"You Won't Win."
Guest Kristi Callan
from Lucky causes "The Time Is Gone" to blossom from a
typically intense ballad into a vibrant, harmony-filled tune with
her glowing vocal halfway through the track.
Innuendoes" has everything it takes to make a first-rate rock
'n' roll record: strong musicianship and production values, memorable
songs filled with melodic hooks and most important of all
Gnerre, Staff Writer
* * * * SST