It was December 2016 when One Last Run called it a day. The group only released one full album, but that record made one hell of a mark on me, and I know I’m not alone.
It’s always a shame when bands you like break up but something about the end of One Last Run was especially sad. They were a band I thought had enormous potential, so to see them leave so much of that potential untapped felt like such a waste.
However, the band were always keen to keep the door open to making music again, dropping hints here and there, and a couple of weeks ago those hints became something more.
Soul Desire, the next chapter in the One Last Run story crashed on to the scene.
First a track called Rapture dropped, swiftly followed by an EP called Ignite, and yours truly got very excited.
The EP kicks off with the aforementioned Rapture. It’s got all the subtly of a giraffe on ice, but that’s what makes it so good! It’s big, brash and if played loudly enough is scenically proven to take your face off. (So I’ve been told…) The bottom line is that the track is a not just a piece of music, a lead single or any of that other stuff, it’s a statement of intent from a band who are determined to grab your attention. My only nitpick is the effect/layering used on Becky Jades’ vocal in the chorus, I just don’t like it. Her voice is strong enough and versatile enough carry off pretty much anything you want a rock singer to do, so the tinkering feels a bit pointless and I don’t feel like it fits.
Title track Ignite crunches into view with drums strong enough to knock down a wall before the equally powerful vocal takes over. Lyrically, the song’s as uplifting as they come and frankly we could all use a bit more positivity. A more general point I want to make here is the development of front woman Becky Jade’s vocal. On pervious work she had a tendency to sometimes go too big too early, powering through everything right from the off and this left her with nowhere to go later in the song, but there’s more subtlety and nuance to her performance now and it makes a big difference. Previously it felt like she had more power than she knew what to do with, but now she seems able to harness that ability more consistently and to better effect. It’s something that comes across on this track and the record as a whole.
From The Flames is for my money the best track on the EP. I’d have led with this as the single if I was in charge of such decisions. The song is money, there’s no other way to frame it. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or do anything revolutionary, but sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity. What the band do here is execute that simplicity with breath-taking aplomb. The chugging guitar from Rob Leach really pulls the track along, while combining perfectly with the bass of Chris Smith and the vocal that soars above it all. Lyrically, the song hits you right in the chest, and is something that I and I’m sure countless others can relate to. This is the band’s Evanescence moment and it’s absolutely fucking glorious.
Every band needs a break-up song and Soul Desire’s tip of the hat in that direction is Falling Apart. All of the things that the band does well are in evidence here on what is another powerful and classy effort. It lacks the magic and stardust of some of the other songs on the EP but it’s another really solid track. I can’t run it down at all.
I always like my albums, EP’s and the like to end with a banger and that’s exactly what Dark Light is. The riffs return in a major way and the track is all the better for it. The band have a real Tremonti style quality to their sound when they really let go and I’d be interested to hear them explore that more in future. The stripped back verses work well and give that hook even more impact, although it hardly needs it. It is mega, ladies and gentlemen. (Sorry I haven’t got anything a little more poetic)
As you can tell from the previous 700 or so words I’m really glad to have the guys back. They aren’t the finished article just yet, I’d like to see more variation in their songs going forward and them exploring that heavier, balls to the wall edge we get a glimpse of here; but Ignite is a damn impressive debut. If everything falls into place and they get that that little bit of luck the sky really is the limit for these guys.
Get acquainted, and remember you heard it here first!