Last Of Us

Last Of Us EP

Written by: TL on 01/03/2014 14:31:02

With Biffy Clyro blazing the way for modern Scottish bands to Wembley and beyond, it's only understandable that more bands should spring from the same soil and try to take root in the British scene at large. One of the latest challengers to appear is Last Of Us, a trio from Perth whose self-titled debut EP might have them looking a bit fresh faced, but really we're dealing with veteran players, since the line-up of singer/guitarist John 'Chic' Harcus, bassist Matt Netherington and drummer Colin Petrie is basically one Danny O'Malley short of being identical with their former band, technical punk outfit PMX which was active supporting several prominent bands both from Britain and abroad in the mid 00's.

While PMX was fast, complicated and definitely punk/alternative in sound however, Last Of Us positions the lads on a more forthcoming track. Their EP wants to include technical flourishes and hard-edged riffs, sure, but it also wants sticky choruses and proficient harmonies, and in that sense the band gets directly in a line of succession behind Biffy, Twin Atlantic, Sucioperro and Make Sparks - The similarities are hard to overlook and admittedly the Scottish "royal family tree" would have to rack up a Game Of Thrones-like death tally for Last Of Us (who in this metaphor seem aptly named) to ascend all the way to the throne. Fair enough, but are they at least legitimate contenders on this early foot forward?

The answer is well, they're getting there. The brazen guitar part that opens "The Others" certainly wants to rock, before the song descends to a nice, fast-paced, Straight Lines-ish verse which catches your attention although the chorus perhaps falls a bit flat. In the bridge you notice that the band has some work to do vocal-wise to pull of this more full-tone style in contrast to the raspy punk of their past, and the screams - although I love that the band includes them - also have room to get better. Still, I was about to get on with the positive, which is that more importantly, these lads have a tight grasp of songwriting dynamics, and each track flows with a nice energy you could easily imagine keeping you engaged in a live environment.

If "Lonely Town" then also feels a good chorus short of really hitting home, "No One Told Her She Was Beautiful" hits its mark with an easily recognisable refrain that makes you sit up and hum along instantly. The bait and release of the bridge in "So Much More" also shows promising aptitude, and as "My Pride Has Fallen" closes proceedings it is again the opening riff that speaks loudest of the band's strengths. Guitar-wise and composition-wise Last Of Us have thus perfected something to offer in their time with PMX, but as they attempt to make the switch to this more harmonic lad-rock alá Lower Than Atlantis, there's still room for improvement in the departments of choruses and singing/vocal recording. Still, if you forget the boys' experience and think of this as it is - a debut EP - then it's a solid and promising one of at that, pointing at a band you wouldn't be daft to keep an eye on moving forward.

Download: The Others, No One Told Her She Was Beautiful, So Much More
For The Fans Of: Twin Atlantic, Sucioperro, Make Sparks, Lower Than Atlantis, Straight Lines

Release Date 12.02.2014

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