Can Last Year's Men regain momentum with Underwhelmed? | Music
Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Can Last Year's Men regain momentum with Underwhelmed?

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

click to enlarge lym.jpg
Underwhelmed, the sophomore album released last week by the Carrboro garage-rock outfit Last Year’s Men, is good, very good. But I won’t say that it was worth the four-year wait since Sunny Down Snuff, the group’s locally lauded 2010 debut. Recorded with Oblivian and Reigning Sound leader Greg Cartwright back in January 2013, these cuts ride effervescent melodies with finely sharpened guitars and raucous vocals. As closely as Sunny got to the bedrock essence of rock ‘n’ roll’s primal appeal, Underwhelmed inches even closer, further mastering tricks that never go out of style.

But the four-year gestation will almost certainly hurt this record’s reach. Four years ago, Last Year’s Men were a rag-tag group of shockingly proficient rockers. Some of them couldn’t even (legally) drink. They were the hottest new band in the Triangle, ascending thereafter through well positioned dates opening for the popular Black Lips and locking down Cartwright to record their follow-up. But Last Year’s Men’s momentum has waned. They don’t tour much, and Underwhelmed—a record that could hold its own against breathlessly praised releases by the likes of Ty Segall or Twin Peaks—arrived only as a self-released Bandcamp download.

Then again, confronted with a record this charming and catchy, Last Year’s Men’s future doesn’t exactly look bleak. Grabbing the bruised swagger of their revered producer, these new songs run ragged, where Cartwright has recently turned more polite. Listening to “By the Way,” it’s hard not think of Oblivians in their “Bad Man” prime. It’s the sound of a young and vital rock band grabbing just the right measure of maturity to balance their youthful intensity.

It’s a big step forward for Last Year’s Men—let’s hope it isn’t their last.

Tags: ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music



Twitter Activity

Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation