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Another Last Year: Alien Architect
Another Last Year Alien Architect CD Album Review

Another Last Year: Alien Architect

Modern Melodic Hard Rock
4.5/5.0

Here's what I know. Another Lost Year, a four piece band, hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. I think Alien Architect is their first album, but information is sketchy on that point. Of more significance is that they've been signed to Dave Ellefson's EMP Records, but also have European distribution through Germany's SPV Records. The new album was released in my native America in June, and soon to be released in Europe.

Another Last Year Alien Architect Band Photo

Another Last Year

Here's something else I know, perhaps more by way of deduction. Another Lost Year plays a modern version of classic melodic hard rock. Now, we all know that "modern" can be a code word for several things, at the very least two things: harsh or dirty vocals and heavy hardcore riffage. But this is not the case. Fundamentally, ALY reaches back to Eighties classic rock for it's emphasis on harmony, melody, and groove. Then they wash it through some early grunge, less Nirvana and rather a mixture Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, and the Foo Fighters. After this possibly a final rinse through early 21st century post-grunge, dare I say, something akin to those posers Nickelback. That's probably not fair. I think Another Lost Year has more class than that band, and probably more talent. But obviously my bias is showing. Anyway.

I think the thing that struck me most about the band was that aforementioned lean to harmony, melody, and groove. Basically, the band wants to rock, rock with a bit of a metal edge, but also draw you in with tunes crafted with AOR accessibility and sensibility. Music by its very definition is inherently melodic. Whether by twin guitar harmony or vocal harmony, melody is reinforced as well, making their tunes pleasing to the ears, even when the riffage gets heavy and vibrant. And I can't emphasize the lead vocals and vocal harmonies enough. Clinton Cunanan is clean melodic singer, but a rock singer nonetheless. And the rest of the band back him up with harmony. Additionally, whatever you might think of modern rock and metal, one thing that was lost in its rebellion against Eighties excess was the guitar solo. I don't know. Maybe these guys have been digging through their parents' record collection or maybe they just have enough inherent musical sense, but the riffs are only exceeded in strength by some sound yet brisk guitar solos.

As much as I have been critical of modern music in the ten years of this site and the 25 years since grunge trampled the world, Another Lost Year reassures me that vibrant and infectious melodic hard rock is not irrelevant, passe, or worse dead, particularly in my country. Alien Architect is a fine first effort from this band, and worthy of your consideration. Recommended.

Another Last Year - We All Die Alone


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The Bottom Line

As much as I have been critical of modern music in the ten years of this site and the 25 years since grunge trampled the world, Another Lost Year reassures me that vibrant and infectious melodic hard rock is not irrelevant, passe, or worse dead, particularly in my country. Alien Architect is a fine first effort from this band, and worthy of your consideration. Recommended.

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