Last Winter

Under The Silver Of Machines

Written by: TL on 21/07/2007 00:21:42

I am currently feeling way too arrogant and apathetic to come up with a clever introduction to catch your attention properly, so here's just what you need to know: This is a review of the most recent record from Orlando, Florida-based Last Winter, it's called "Under The Silver Of Machines", it's their first record after signing to Victory and their second in total, and without further (lack of) dramatics, here's what I think about it:

The record opens with an atmosphere-building intro-track and then explodes straight into the first track "The Violent Things". From the get go this effect is promising, and though the track loses its breath and calms down it is still pretty good. The overall style should quickly remind you of what Funeral For A Friend sounded like on their recent album "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" and with the inflated super-melodic post hardcore riffage and the high pitched vocals, the feel of it all is straight in the veins of for instance Madina Lake. All good so far, but unfortunately, the first bump in the road is right around the corner.

Now I hate to say it, but signing to Victory is beginning to seem like a really really bad idea if you have any kind of ambitions to express yourself. Furthermore, when I see a band on myspace who's genres are "Rock / Alternative / Pop" I always get the suspicion that "Alternative" is only there to make it cool and what it really says is "At best as alternative as Coldplay". You see where this is going? If not, then what I'm playing at is that from track two and onwards the songs start seeming more and more over-inflated. More and more built-for-stadium if you please. This I could have easily forgotten if the songs on the record could have been easily distinguishable from one another, as an effect of them having strong identities. That however, is not the case here, and the only songs that ever really make any lasting mark whatsoever except for the earlier mentioned "The Violent Things" are "Our Summer In Illinois" and "Made For TV" as respectively, the lyrics and instrumentation actually make grappling attempts at the listeners attention.

Songs like "Standing Here" are just plain annoying with their boredom though, and listening through the entire album is a test of patience as it rapidly reveals itself as the product of a band that, for some reason (*cough* Victory? *cough*) is not taking any chances whatsoever. Sure, you could argue that yes, there are a few screams to be found on the album if you listen closely enough, but honestly it never seems like anything but an attempt to suck up to the screamo-trend and it certainly doesn't do anything musically.

So to sum things up, what we have here is an album that, despite my criticism, is not horribly bad. Contrary, it is actually quite listenable and probably well suited for being played in the background while you're doing something else. It's a safe bet. A very, VERY safe bet, and as listening to it as a whole makes a blur out of the all too predictable material, while it does not deserve a horrible grade, it won't even come close to a really good grade either. Come back when you care more about telling us something interesting than about being played on the radio please.

6

Download: The Violent Things, Our Summer In Illinois, Made For TV
For the fans of: Madina Lake, Funeral For A Friend, Anberlin
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 30.04.2007
Lifeforce
Provided by Target ApS

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