I received a copy of this album that had no album art. I had little idea what to expect from Last Conservative, especially considering that the last thing that I reviewed from Good Charamel was The Juliet Dagger single. When I heard the first track on “Pretty New Things” (“Distraction”), I began to understand that Last Conservative is for all intensive purposes a rock band. This is not to say that the band does not use other bits and pieces of styles in their music, but rather that the key genre in which they play their music is rock. Thus, there can be a shrill, emo-like guitar riff that acts as a precursor to the ending of “Distraction”, but the rock sound is primary on this album.
The band has ties to acts like Local H, Fuel, and Matthew Sweet. The arrangements all pass through one level of talent that Last Conservative never goes beneath, and on tracks like the oft-mentioned “Distraction”, Last Conservative can go considerably above this level. “King of Failure” shows that Lat Conservative love their seventies rock, to the degree that the band ties their mid-to-late nineties sound with something that acts like The Outlaws and Blue Oyster Cult would love to have created. Where the instruments may try to create a hybrid seventies sound, at moments during “King of Failure”, a decidedly-Bono type of vocals come forth that miraculously fit with the rest of the music on the track.
The slower tempo of “The Way You Would Kiss Me” is something that no one could have forecasted from Last Conservative. The band has chops enough to actually keep the momentum that they created on the prior tracks, even if this track is morose and slow. The band is able to approach a number of different things, whether it be the tempo of a song or the overall style of the song itself, without sounding like it is a band without an overall sound. Last Conservative may not be that known yet, but a few more albums of this quality will mean that Last Conservative will be a household name soon. A number of the tracks on this disc could conceivably make it up the CMJ charts, so it will just be a matter of time before Last Conservative scores and gets into the minds and hearts of anyone who may be listening in to that station.
Top Tracks: Don’t Touch Me, Pretty New Things
Last Conservative – Pretty New Things / 2006 Good Charamel / 11 Tracks / http://www.lastconservative.com / http://www.goodcharamelrecords.com / Reviewed 10 November 2006