Friday, 24 March 2017

Power Pop: The Last will be the first; L.A. Explosion 1979 Flac

Perhaps the least known of the late-'70s L.A. pop acts, the Last rose from the ashes of the Los Angeles club scene alongside bands like 20/20, the Knack, the Nerves, the Plimsouls, et al. Releasing their debut album on a small, albeit influential, indie label didn't help them gain exposure outside of California, but the music contained on this platter is as brilliant as anything that came from that era. Led by Joe Nolte and featuring his brothers Mike and David amongst its members, the Last's secret weapon was the keyboard/flute-playing Vitus Matare, who added extra texture and flair to Joe's engaging songs. Heavily influenced by '60s pop, this album has it all: pure pop ("This Kind of Feeling," "Someone's Laughing"), sunny beach pop ("Every Summer Day"), punk-pop ("I Don't Wanna Be In Love," "Slavedriver"), psych-pop ("She Don't Know Why I'm Here"), etc. Thinly produced, this album has a charm and innocence to it that not many other artists have been able to match.

Bio:
Influenced by '60s surf, psychedelia, and folk-rock, brothers Joe (guitar), Mike (vocals), and David Nolte (bass) of Los Angeles formed the Last in 1976, along with associates Jack Reynolds (drums) and Vitus Matare (keyboards). The Last might be considered a seminal indie band, having released early singles on their own label, Backlash. Their first album, L.A. Explosion, released in 1979 on the Bomp! label, has been lauded as a powerful and nearly perfect first effort.

The Last recorded a second album, Look Again, in 1980 on Backlash and distributed it privately. In 1982, they returned to Bomp! for the EP Fade to Black, and then completed Painting Smiles on a Dead Man for Lolita Records before disbanding in 1985.
David Nolte left to join Wednesday Week and eventually ended up in Lucky. The band reformed in 1988 with Luk Lohnes on guitar and vocals, Missy Buettner on bass, and Robbie Rist on drums joining Joe and Mike Nolte from the original lineup. That year they toured outside of California for the first time and released Confessions on the SST label. Two more releases on SST have followed -- Awakenings in 1989 and Gin & Innuendo in 1996. Dave Nazworthy replaced Rist on drums during the recording of Awakenings, and David Nolte has a cameo appearance on that album as well. Nazworthy also plays for the Chemical People. Through the personnel changes, the Last have maintained a consistent style of potent power-pop, heavily influenced by the local music they grew up listening to in Southern California.

Classic Power Pop album by the Last and highly recommended if you are in Power Pop. Turn up the volume and sing hello to the weekend.
Cheers
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