I've been listening to heavy metal for the last 30 or more years. I haven't heard every manifestation of the genre, but I've come close. Yet Canada's The Last Act and their second work Still Standing left me scratching my head and, no matter how times I've played it, hitting the 'skip' button quickly to get through disc. I found Still Standing as difficult to explain as to enjoy, a troubling conundrum.
First, and positively, their sound is probably best described as heavy rock or metal, melodic and bit old school. You might hear elements of Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Soundgarden, Metallica or Megadeth, and even old Rush. Second, the band does not lack for skill, both in songwriting (lyrically) and musicianship. Some the best work comes from bassist Paul Larsen and drummer Andrew Whiting.
But then I play Still Standing. I barely make it through the opening cut, the title track. I hear Jason Turnbull's vocals and cringe; I'm not sure this guy can sing. No Chance ... Again does not prove any better. My hopes are fading fast. Later, the vocals get a bit better on Twilight Radio Waves, but Turnbull is still a challenge. He's better the less he attempts to stretch and strain.
Nevertheless, from one song to the next I'm stabbing that 'skip' button, even though I'm making every effort to listen to more than a minute of any song. Particularly troubling is the thickness of the arrangements. While attempting to be more technical (I think), songs like Still Standing, Problem with Authority, or No Chance ... Again, by example, simply sound busy. With little doubt, every song has moments of interest, some moments longer than others like the content of Habitat for Insanity. Perhaps the best songs are the fiery instrumental Burning Stack. Yet, in the final analysis I'm more than a little ambivalent about The Last Act and their sophomore effort Still Standing.
I found The Las Act's Still Standing as difficult to explain as to enjoy, a troubling conundrum. No matter how times I played it, I found myself hitting the 'skip' button to get through it.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]