Artist: The Last Word
I try not to make too many broad unspecific, all-encompassing statements, mostly because they typically just end up making me look like even more of an idiot than I actually am, and I don’t need any more help on that front. But I think this statement is fairly safe: the United Kingdom has a habit of churning out a truly disproportional amount of fantastic bands, as far as music is supposed to go, there is a degree of trial and error involved, many need to fail, so a few can shine through. But apparently they didn’t get that memo in the UK, even the bands that are still considered “local bands” are typically exponentially more impressive than about 90% of the bands destined to grace the main stage at Warped Tour this year. From bands like Architects, or Sharks, who are just fantastic, end of discussion, to the more controversial bands like Asking Alexandria, who deserve credit whether you love them or hate them for basically just showing up in the States out of no where one day, and selling out every venue they touched, to bands like Violet whom you probably haven’t heard of if you live in America. So when I come across a newly discovered band from the UK, in this case, The Last Word, I really look forward to hearing what they have to offer. The Last Word is another one of those bands that is still very much up-and-coming; still unsigned, and just dropping their debut EP, Crashing, but of course that didn’t mean that I had any less faith that I would be blown away, its just something about those Brits, I guess.
Now, this is where things get tricky, I’m kind of baffled by this band, I’m not quite sure how to render a final verdict. Objectively speaking, the production work is phenomenal, and the song writing and musicianship is undeniably top notch, no debate necessary. However, there are two things that sort of leave a bad taste in my mouth, or should I say the questionable marriage of two independently great things. Metal and dubstep. I’ve been into metal ever since I was old enough to buy a Slipknot album simply because my parents told me not to, and calling me a dubstep fan would be an astronomical understatement. In fact to get even more specific, I love dubstep remixes of metal songs; the remixes Big Chocolate has done for Whitechapel, IWABO, Suicide Silence, and so on, Tek-One’s Bring Me The Horizon remix, or Relec’s Norma Jean remix, they’re all truly fantastic tracks. And guys like Bare, Tomba, and the aforemented Big Chocolate accomplished what I had thought to be impossible, and dropped some amazing remixes of Asking Alexandria songs that actually made the band listenable, which is a truly heroic feat, and I commend those guys endlessly for it. However, I’m still not quite sold on the idea of combining metal and dubstep into one sound from the start, if I’m honest, it was an inevitable progression, but still not one I can quite condone yet.
Dubstep and metal fusions usually come off as a bit forced, and a bit confused at the same time, either metal with a random spattering of a weak dubstep drop carelessly dropped over a breakdown, or a really heavy dubstep song that just isn’t quite dubstep. The Last Word falls into the second category, which is by far the better of the two, but it still feels a bit awkward. In fact, I have an unquenchable urge to remix these tracks myself, just so they aren’t stuck sitting in the vast, awkward no man’s land between metal and dubstep. Crashing is certainly worth a listen, its probably the best attempt I’ve heard to date at this rather controversial genre-hybrid. And that remix idea just isn’t going away either, so bonus points for that. But I’m afraid it just isn’t quite there yet, shockingly close really, but not quite there. But honestly, that’s more the fault of the attempted-genre than the band themselves. The Last Word has a lot of potential, and clearly a lot of talent, I’m just not sure this genre is destined to really ever pan out, that said, I’ll be seriously impressed if it ever gets better than this album though.
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan