When Our Time Down Here released their debut album Live. Love. Let Go at the tail end of 2009, it was lodged firmly in the ‘posi-hardcore’ camp. Almost two years later, their Last.fm bio still might read “Total Fun Hardcore,” but Last Light finds a band keener to update their sound than their web data.
The rousing gang chants that kick-start opener “Requiem” may see the band stomp into familiar territory, but frontman Will Gould’s voice sounds barely recognisable. With a slow, sombre croon sounding suspiciously like Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, he asks: “How do you move on when you just sit and wallow?”
Gould continues to carry a heavy heart from each song to the next, recalling stories often with unflinching detail. Last Light is by Gould’s own admission, a “concept record” bound together by the themes of excessive thinking and excessive drinking. When “The Midnight Hour” closes with the refrain: “Even though I’m home, I’ve not felt more alone,” it feels almost like a tagline for the EP.
It’s a bitter-sweet contrast that musically, Last Light is so uplifting and fizzing with energy. Channelling the high-octane melodies of Lifetime and the Bouncing Souls, the band gallops relentlessly to the finish post. It’s during “Tiny Teeth” where the band really comes into their own though, with strong vocals pushed to the forefront and a winning chorus.
They say you have to suffer for your art. Last Light may reflect dark days for Will Gould and the boys, but they at least seem to have emerged with a knack for writing truly great songs. If this is all just a taster for what’s to come on the band’s next full-length, then it should be a corker.Tags: Case 5 Records, Last Light, Our Time Down Here