Last week I took to Twitter to get very animated about the fact that I had just heard a fantastic new EP. I went as far as to call it a late candidate for record of the year. This is that record.
The band are called One Last Run and this is their eponymously titled debut EP. Now if you would be so kind as to take a seat around The Musical Outcast campfire as we pass round a bottle of Jack, I will explain to you who this band are and why this record should be in the top 5 of anybody’s end of year list.
Based in Manchester One Last Run are Becky Roberts (Vocals) Rob Leach (Rhythm and lead guitar) Jack Pennington (Rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals) Chris Smith (Bass, backing vocals) and Dan Brown. (Drums, backing vocals) They say that they are influenced by the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown and Halestorm, and you can really hear that in their music. They are a seriously kick ass rock band simple as.
The EP begins with Close My Eyes, and what a beginning it is. Think ‘Fortress’ era Alter Bridge, the track just flies straight into life crushing everything which stands before it. The vocal from Roberts is simply huge; hearing a vocal carry this much power right towards the top end of her range is seriously impressive. The faster section towards the end will have you head-banging along with the best of them and the guitar solo is totally on point. My only slight criticism is that the ending is a bit abrupt. The track is going hell for leather and then it just comes to a shuddering halt. The more I’ve listened to the record the less I mind it though to be honest, so there is probably just an element in there of me being a tough critic.
The opening strains of Breathe are not a million miles away from the Slash tune Bent To Fly, it just lulls you in, slowly and gently then kicks you straight in the mouth. All of that coincides with what I can only describe as an absolutely towering vocal from Roberts, before things calm down again as the song slides into the opening verse. The hook is a typically grandstand affair, and hits as hard as you hope it would, and once again the guitar work is fantastic.
House Of Cards sees the band channel their inner Velvet Revolver (Even the solo has a little bit of VR era Slash about it) and conjure up what is probably my favourite track on the record. This is just uncomplicated hard rock, straight from the gut and in your face. I just want to take a slightly geeky minute to praise the drums and the production as they really come to the fore on this tune. First of all I am in love with the drums on this record, they sound incredible. I’m fed up of hearing rock and metal bands with pathetic drums. They’ve got that real ‘pop’ and sharpness to them and the drummer and in particular the producer must take a load of credit here. I’m also a big fan of just how the drums are structured into the song, nice little fills and rolls might only be small touches but they really lay the foundation for the rest of the track to break your speakers.
The penultimate track 8 Letter Phrase is a far slower and more brooding effort and I’m not 100% sold that this is where the band are at their best. That’s not to say that this is a bad track because it really isn’t, or that the band couldn’t pull off a ballad as I think that they easily have the ability to do that, it just feels like this track didn’t come quite as easily as the rest of the songs on the EP. However this track features what is an absolutely monumental guitar solo, the kind that leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside. Or is that just me? It’s another really good track but it doesn’t quite standout as much as the rest of the record.
The opening line to finale Bring On The Pain is;
I like the way that you pull my hair, I like the way that you stop, stand, and stare…’
No prizes for guessing what this tune is about and you know what that is fucking brilliant. Rock music was made for an ‘in your face’ attitude and equally in your face sexuality. This song will kick your ass and enjoy doing it; the full on metal section towards the end will test your speakers to the max and have you wishing that you had longer hair as to truly do your head-banging justice. (Or is that just me again?)
From front to back and side to side this record is an absolute brute. It will pull you in, chew you up, and spit you out leaving you with no idea what just hit you but knowing that whatever it was you sure as hell enjoyed it. I can’t speak highly enough of the vocal from Roberts, that girl could make a Michael Bublé song sound badass. The production is fantastic the rhythm section and the guitar work is also spot on and that has all combined to create what is a spectacularly impressive record. If you’re a hard rock fan you NEED this is your life; trust me.