Toronto rockers Last Bullet know where they want to be, and go some of the way to get there on this EP, but they surely still have a fair way to go until they become the fully-fledged gods of rock debauchery and they so clearly think we should fete them as…
The problem, it would seem to me, is delivery. Opening track Sin gets things just about right, being a post-grunge take on stadium rock, all furrow-browed chest-beating and gurning facework; If you liked Velvet Revolver, if you love Alter Bridge, then you’ll be lapping up the whole schtick Last Bullet offer up on this track.
Singer Bryan Fontez has the sort of nineties voice radio loved back in the day. He clearly admires people like Josh Todd and John Corabi, but his workmanlike assimilation of that voice means that, on the looser numbers here – Southern Lips and Little Miss Filthy, say – everything just sounds a little too calculated to ring totally true. Don’t get me wrong – it’s likeable enough, but there’s something missing from the mix.
Both these songs should be delivered with a cheeky grin and a lascivious wink of the eye; here they sound like the unwelcome attentions of a slightly overbearing barroom bore, so that even if the music is spot on – which it is, pretty much every time – things just don’t quite feel right… Like I said, it’s a delivery problem.
It is possible to deliver this kind of eighties-styled music within the confines of twenty first century public morality – Inglorious seem to have pulled it off with their new Whitesnake-admiring effort – and the band are definitely good songwriters, that’s for sure. But it is something of a sticking point for this reviewer.
Still, that particular gripe apart, you’ll find a fair bit of material to like on this six tracker if nineties big rock shot through with the spirit of the deep south is your thing. I’d give this a whirl if I were you.
Last Bullet will release 80-69-64 on July 14th.