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EP Review: Last Chance City – A New Beginning

Hailing from the Isle of Wight Last Chance City are Max Cowley (Vocals, keyboard, synthesizer) Stafford Kurowski (Guitar) Edan Barlett (Bass, vocals) and Connah Newton (Drums).

A New Beginning is the band’s 3rd EP and was released back in December. To mangle a well know cliché I found the record to really be an EP of two halves. I really like the first two tracks but the remaining pair didn’t really grab in the same way, but I’ll get to that in more detail in a minute.

An atmospheric prelude leads into opening track Life And Love where the band waste no time in showing you what they are all about. A synth enthused intro quickly launches into a haze of rapid firing drums and swirling guitars. This kind of full throttle charge is where the band are at their best, the chorus is big and powerful while the guitar solo which roars the song towards its conclusion adds another great dimension.

The opening to Rising Flames has a hint of Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams about it as the pace to falls to a comparative crawl. The melody feels distant as the vocal and a rolling drum beat take centre stage. Once again the chorus is a real grandstand affair, something that the band clearly has a knack for. From here however I feel that things lose their lustre a little bit.

Penultimate effort Fire Your Guns sees the pace rise once more but it doesn’t feel like it has the same spark as the opener. There’s nothing offensively wrong with the song by any means, it just feels like the band are going through the motions. The track just doesn’t grab me.

I was hoping that final track Behind The Hidden Sky would send the EP out on a high but if I’m brutally honest it falls short. The synth which floats in and out feels unnecessary while the transitions between the fast and slower, more stripped back sections feel really clunky. The chorus is fine but everything around it doesn’t do it any favours.

As is said at the outset A New Beginning is a bit of a mixed bag. The first two tracks are definitely highlights so I’d recommend digging them out, but Fire Your Guns is nothing more than OK, and while I get the intention behind Behind The Hidden Sky I just don’t think it works.

Last Chance City are more than capable of a really good, consistent record, sadly they haven’t quite produced it here.

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