REVIEW: Last Call – Dog Years

last call feature

Band: Last Call
Album: Dog Years
Genre: Pop-Punk
Label: Broken Arrow Collective

I really love checking out new bands. I’m sometimes pretty critical, because I have a lot of bands that I’m super into already. This may mean I’m getting old, or maybe I’ve just been oversaturated with music already, but lately I look at music with a more critical eye, because frankly I don’t need a ton more bands to love. However that doesn’t mean I’m not always looking for more, because I am. I want to be impressed, I want to feel that sense of freshness listening to a band I haven’t listened to before. So when some friends of mine in the most elitist pop-punk Facebook group I’ve ever been a part of told me I should be listening to Las Vegas’ Last Call’s new record Dog Years, I listened. Within three songs I was hooked and I immediately told my editor James that I needed to review this. Last Call’s new record, while isn’t groundbreaking, is a great release for the band that will definitely find it’s ways into the ears on many listeners of pop-punk.

The minute the drum fill on “Generation Gap” came in, I knew this Last Call album was going to catchy, and I wasn’t disappointed. The guitars are pressing, although not totally original, it’s fun to listen to all the same. You can hear the West Coast pop-punk influence all over the record, yet they do it tastefully, not beating you over the head with that skateboarder d-beat that the West Coast is known for. Last Call has some really great chord progressions and guitar work that accessible by all fans of pop-punk, and I think that’s what really drew me to this record in the first place. Their music may not have broken new ground, but it’s something I find myself jamming while I walk to class to keep my spirits up. And isn’t that what pop-punk really is about anyway? Songs such as “Braid” are fast on this record, but they don’t substitute that speed for a lack of weight in the music (which does happen quite often if you listen back to your faster tracks). That’s what Last Call does really well on this record: bringing substance to every song on the track, rather than having a few standouts and the rest being support. Each track has an equal amount of connection and musicality that keeps you listening throughout the entirety of the record, rather than skipping to your favorite songs.

Lyrically, Last Call does a good job of sticking with normal pop-punk themes of loss, heartbreak, and betterment of self. There weren’t any real moments on this record that hit me like a sack of bricks, but that definitely doesn’t mean that I didn’t find any songs less relatable. “Generational Gap” I think is fantastic lyrically, and it’s a topic that I think not as many bands talk about, (the idea that the difference of how to love between an older generation and ours is hard). I’m going to keep delving deeper and deeper into the lyrics throughout the coming weeks, but they are definitely layered and provide for a lot of reading between the lines, which I think any good lyricist should strive to do. Vocally, I found that there were songs that his voice almost didn’t fit the songs, but that happens to me a lot when I’m listening to a brand new band. I just need to get to used to the vocalists tonal range, but as I listen more I find it more and more soothing, which rarely happens because vocalists tend to err on the side of abrasive when singing in a pop-punk band.

Las Vegas to me isn’t really known for their pop-punk, but now I’m definitely paying attention after listening to Last Call’s Dog Years. They put out a really great record that is as cohesive as it is catchy, and that’s what I really look for when listening to a new record. I want to feel like the band put time into creating something great from front to back, and that’s what Last Call did. Time will tell if the record sticks with fans of the genre, but I think it’s safe to say Last Call should be proud of their release, and do what all bands in their genre should do: hit the road and share this record with every listener that wants to give it a chance.

SCORE: 8.5/10

Written By: Tyler Osborne

Tyler Osborne

Live in DC, grew up in PA. I specialize in writing, filming and taking pictures about punk, pop-punk, and hardcore music, and I also have a huge background in film as well. When not on the site, i'm running my own internet radio show, ToZ's Edge Radio (www.facebook.com/tozedgeradio). I also love stage diving and goldfish.
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