Last November

Tug O' War EP

Written by: PP on 14/01/2010 17:42:21

I've never heard of Atlanta, US-based Last November prior to receiving an advance copy of their brand new EP "Tug O' War", but apparently a lot of people have. The band's credentials include over 3.3 million Myspace plays in total, as well as having a number of singles from their sophomore album "Over The Top And Under The Weather" in circulation on over 200 radio stations across the nation, and for the band to become that big that quickly, they must be doing something right. The genre is indie-tinged pop rock, which explains some of the success, but the real reason why these guys are so big is their vocalist Luke Pilgrim. He owns one of those warm, friendly voices that invites and makes you feel at ease during their songs.

Soundwise, the band never strays too far out of the indie/pop rock envelope. Bands like Socratic, Sullivan, Say Anything pop into mind while listening to EP, all at different times, because the songs on the record are so different from each other. Track one, "Julie", for instance, sounds so much like old Placebo I had to go back and double-check I wasn't listening to slightly poppier remix of "Black Market Music" by accident. "Georgia" and "Firefly" in contrast are simple pop rockers driven by acoustic guitar and Pilgrim's voice that's nearly bursting of warmth and emotion. Relaxed pop rock track "Good Luck Charm" brings back the electric guitars, and here be some seriously audible Say Anything influence, as there are several places where Pilgrim places a similar strain on his voice as Max Bemis. The EP is finished with a ballad, "Down And Out", which could be a cliché, generic piano-ballad about losing the girl you love, but lyrics like "I know he's touching you in places I used to, ohh, and I bet he's saying things I used to say too [...] does he prefer the same side of bed as me? Your toothbrush still sits on my sink today, I can't bring myself to throw the damn thing away" make the song very personal and emotionally convincing.

There are only five tracks on the EP, so I'm gonna keep this short. I don't usually think much about indie-tinged pop rock bands because there are so many of them in the market these days, but Last November's "Tug O' War EP" has taken over a regular slot in my playlist rotation in the past two weeks or so. It's nothing original, but when it comes to pop rock, you don't have to be original to be good. That's what Last November prove on this EP.


Download: Julie, Down And Out
For the fans of: Placebo, Say Anything, Socratic, Sullivan
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.01.2010
Southern Tracks Records

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