Besides Desert City Soundtrack, Latterman might be Deep Elm’s best band ever. While they are not related in any way to Desert City Soundtrack beyond being on the same label, both bands share an intensity and impressive nature that cannot be removed from them. It only takes about a minute, and Latterman even bests acts like None More Black and Rise Against with a scratchy set of vocals that recalls both acts and an overall punk style to their music that touches on a little bit of everything that took place from 1977 on. While a number of acts are able to create punk music that is catchy, Latterman goes miles beyond that in the creation of tracks that allow each member of the band to work with the others to make something that is not only going to rattle around listeners’ brains for months to come, but to make something that ranks right up there with the best arrangements that punk can come up with.
A new dimension to Latterman is shown during “Mumbled Words and Ridiculous Faces”, where the band starts linking together the tracks on “We Are Still Alive” to make a full album assault that is relentless during the entire half hour of power that Latterman so graciously gives us. Something that becomes a little more audible during “Mumbled Words” is the band’s influences, specifically those of the alternative scene of the early nineties. Hints of Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, and even Nation of Ulysses come to the fore during this track and others.
This is the real voice of punk music for the current period. Honestly, fuck Against ME! and Anti-Flag and all those other bloated, corporate rock whores. This is the style of music that has issued forth from dusty basements and garages for years, and with it comes some of the most sincere emotional content ever recorded to the disc. The rub here is that the band could so easily make it onto mTV or sell one hundred thousand copies of their album; it’s just no one knows about them at this juncture. This is the third album that I’ve reviewed from Latterman, and the band seems to be more on topic and impressive on this album. Any minor issues that might keep listeners away from the act have been neatly closed up. Pick this disc up through whatever means necessary. Thank you, Latterman.
Top Tracks: If Batman Was Real, He Would’ve Beaten The Crap out of My Friends, Water Manes at the Block’s End
Latterman – We Are Still Alive / 2006 Deep Elm / 10 Tracks / http://www.lattermanband.com / http://www.deepelm.com / Reviewed 30 August 2006