LAST GANG, THE: Noise Noise Noise: CD

Mar 15, 2022

It’s wild that this is the first new release from The Last Gang in three years, but time sure has become difficult to track. Keep Them Counting captured my attention in a major way. It feels like such a copout to compare front person Rachel Red to Brody Dalle, but there’s no denying the vocals are similar—though I would add some Kim Shattuck growls in there as well. This new record has great production—not overly slick, just like everything is boosted up and punchier. Some of the songs straddle the fence between all-out anger and restrained emotion. The track “Shameless” charges along with guttural fierceness then hits the chorus where some notes are bent as if they were auto-tuned. When we get to the bridge, the band fades away and Rachel comes in with an acoustic guitar and sweet melodic vocals before breaking right back into screams that strain her vocal cords to their limit. On the very next track, “Panic Dreaming,” they slip into ska. And that’s something that’s actually pretty present in several of the songs on this record. “Gimme Action” has this piercing, stretched guitar note that reminds me of “Maps” from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. While there are times on this record that I feel like Rachel’s vocal bite is lacking teeth, there is such a wealth of techniques used here. There’s the ska upstrokes, an intense build of anxiety in “New Skin,” a catchy pop punk sound in “Paris Green,” and the incorporation of acoustic guitar. All of this together makes up Noise Noise Noise, but I would never describe it as such. I also love the homage to The Damned on the cover. –Kayla Greet (Fat)