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Album review: Last Chance

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Last Chance

Don’t Pull Out (Dad) 

Formed in 2017 Kettering’s Last Chance have been, quite rightly, making waves with their bubblegum brand of pop-punk. After releasing two highly acclaimed singles their eagerly awaited debut album has been waiting in the wings due to the Covid crisis. Titled Don’t Pull Out (Dad) it’s finally been unleashed, and it’s here to illuminate these dark days with its delightfully Day-Glo sound. 

With little time for procrastination or pettifogging Last Chance arrive with guitars blazing and drums firing. Armed with a huge, bouncy sound opening salvo ‘Picking Peices’ [sic] renders them an extremely likeable combo. Shunning the nihilism of punk for a more life affirming vibe is a good move, and is sure to adhere them to a wider audience. However Last Chance aren’t going to be easily pigeonholed, as ‘Shutdown’ proves. The band build up a fair amount of tension through verses that are entwined by sharp guitar lines which break free and explode during the chorus and spray shards of effervescence in every direction. 

Last Chance have a sound that can be traced back to The Descendants [via Green Day and A], yet they’re no mere copyists with Don’t Pull Out (Dad) evidencing a freshness and vibrancy which is most noticeable on the succinct ‘Ball Bag’. Guaranteed to raise more than smiles it speeds by like a bullet train and leaves the listener windswept in its slipstream. The musical equivalent of Curb Your Enthusiasm ‘Parking Ticket’ explores the frustrating minutiae of modern life and wraps it up in delicious harmonies. Pop-punk in its purest definition, Don’t Pull Out (Dad) never loses focus of song structure, but there’s an equal amount of unbridled energy and the juxtaposition between melody and rapidity makes for an intriguing listen. 

The gaps between tracks are kept to a bare minimum adding to the overall feel of urgency, and ensures the songs trip over each others heels in a rush to tumble forth. With barely a pause for breath ‘Chosen Family’ races out the blocks and, armed with a bold, expansive production, it swings like a huge wrecking ball. There’s a distinct lack of guitar solos; in their place are punchy riffs that could floor a heavyweight, which renders the spiky and angular ‘That Night’ rather enjoyable. Those tension of opposites echo throughout as the deep and sorrowful lyrical bent of ‘That Night’ is buoyed by an upbeat, skate-rock vibe. It’s all very pogo-inducing, and is sure to cause havoc wherever its played in the post-Coronavirus world. 

A thunderous drum-roll heralds the arrival of ‘Be There For You’ and sets the tone for the next three-and-a-half minutes, as some neat callback vocals nestle betwixt scything guitars and the unruly, boisterous bass. The penultimate ‘Make Myself’ is rumbustious [it nearly blew my tweeters], and makes the album closer ‘For You Too’ all the more poignant. Bearing a passing resemblance to Green Day’s ‘Good Riddance [Time Of Your Life]’ the acoustic ‘For You Too’ brings a sense of cessation and it’s ambient nature only serves to highlight the velocity of what came before. 

Ten tracks in 32 blistering minutes should tell you all you need to know. Don’t Pull Out (Dad) doesn’t hang around or overstay it’s welcome, but its brevity is also its strength and, like all good records should, leaves the listener hungry for more.

Peter Dennis

Don’t Pull Out (Dad) is out now via the usual digital platforms.

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