The Last Cry is a name I have seen doing the rounds and it is no surprise considering some of the bands they have shared a stage with; The Mission, The Damned, Gene Loves Jezebel and Anne Marie Hurst to name a few. The British trio in case you had not guessed with those groups in mind, play a form of gothic rock which is somewhat dark, dreamy and at times quite delicious. Apparently they formed in the late 80s and although they disbanded and went on a ten year hiatus are back now and stronger than ever.
As the almost hour long album gets into gear with first number ‘Devastate’ it is quick to note that the band are good at crafting strong, catchy and quirky compositions. The guitar work is graceful and flows with mesmerising scope, entrancing the listener and the clean croons from singer Andrew Birch are fragrant and melodic, able to add force at the right points. It’s a slow burning, swaying opener, bordering on a ballad at times although it progresses with some dynamics as it continues, leaving you wondering just what the group have to offer at full force. ‘Punishment’ ups the ante and comes in with a much more rock laden sound. Guitars spiral and bounce around and the rhythm is quirky. I am reminded a little of current heroes O Children here and there is a tempo that you can imagine having some revellers cutting it on the dance floor.
Listening to the guitar work at the start of ‘Cross Of Hope’ and elsewhere on the album it is obvious where one of the main sources of inspiration for the band come from. This dwells in the deep dark lost forest of early Cure and it is suitably chilling and atmospheric. One of the strongest tracks on the album is definitely ‘Nowhere Out Of The Sky’ which has a forceful stomp around it, jagged guitars and incessant clamouring vocals. By contrast the slow ebb and flow of ‘Seconds’ maybe gentle but it allows the vocals to really shine through on this heartfelt lament.
Obviously there are always limitations with drum machines involved and I hunger for a real drummer when bands like this are concerned. I also find the album could do with a bit of a trim as some songs are a bit surplus to requirements and the album does go on a bit. Then again it’s always a moot point and although a reviewer may find this it is obviously value for money for the fan. Luckily the strong songs outweigh the weak and this is on the whole a strong album from a band well worth investigating.
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)