Last Call

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Last Call Demo - * * * * 1/2

Rejection, For you to face for yourself
Shine on, Don't pass up the chance
Just roll the dice and let's dance
I try so hard to go away, I want to wake up dead,
I wake up anyway
People said it was fucked up what you did
I prefer to remember the way you lived

-All They Gave

Last Call is one of the newer bands hailing from Troy, NY. They had two very impressive cuts on the United We Stand compilation, both of which appear on the demo. As far as I know, this is the first recording that they've put out. The demo clocks in at just under ten minutes with 5 songs. Normally I would be pissed about this, but A) I only paid five bucks for the tape & B) There isn't a second of filler in that whole ten minutes. I slapped the Last Call demo into my car's tape deck as soon as I got it and turned the thing up full volume. That was my first mistake. All they Gave starts off going straight for the jugular and these fucks don't let up from there until the last note of the last song. As soon as the distorted maniacal scream (courtesy of Sherwood from Skinless) locks into this brutal fucking mosh chorus on All They Gave, it becomes obvious that Last Call are no amateurs. They may be new, they may be a demo band, but their members are collected from some of the finest bands ever to walk the streets of Troy. Ralph Renna from Politics Of Contraband provides the vocals, Boonie of Dying Breed and Flat Broke on guitar and bass, and some guys from Excecution Style and Social Downfall as well. These are veterans of the hardcore scene and it's obvious they know what the fuck they're doing. Their standing in the scene is further evidenced the most guest appearances to ever be found on a 10 minute tape. Skinless, Wartime Manner, Burning Human and a host of others provide backing vocals for Last Call on most of these songs. The music is definitely hardcore, but a little less metal and more punk than the scene has been used to in recent years. Last Call has a kind of old-school swing to their rhythm which is refreshing to hear. They actually sound like they're having a good time playing the songs. And it's all done true fucking DIY style with a liner notes and packaging that looks like it was slapped together in Microsoft Works in about 20 minutes. The vocals are fucking sick. Renna sounds a little bit like Phil Anselmo singing for a punk band. His style is abrasive but loose, fast and chaotic. The dance parts are tight and played with precision which pounds and swings simeltaneously. There isn't a note which falls out of place on the entire demo. When this band locks into a groove, they don't let up at all until people start fucking dying. It's pure full on hardcore aggression combining speed and precision. The lyrics deal with various fucked up relationships. All They Gave discusses suicide, March 7th love and rejection, Conspiracy deals with a family member, Say Uncle about an abusive relationship, and Temp Service about personal self-destruction. The lyrics are classic hardcore in their approach to the issues at hand, stressing personal integrity and strength to overcome. Last Call is one of the best hardcore bands I have heard in years. Their style is a seamless combination of old-school and newer sounds. They sound driven. If this is the demo tape, I can't wait to see what they come out with in the future. It's last call bitches, sober up, get your ass to Troy and go buy this fucking tape right now.

* * * * 1/2

Reviewed: August, 1998

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