CD REVIEW: The Last Barbarians - Take it Back
By: Levi canfield
Artist: The Last Barbarians
Weakness: Lyrics, Short Length
Philadelphia four-piece, The Last Barbarians, hit hard on their 2010 EP Take It Back. Getting a name for themselves on the east coast has been well deserved after working hard for the last four years to get tight on a sound all their own. Only two songs in length, this release is short and sweet.
The Last Barbarians have this indelible knack for fusing fast funky rhythm sections underneath strong guitar riffage. The first track, “Slave Dog”, exemplifies the rhythm section in it’s skitter punk bass line that bounces all over the place, but stays on track. The middle of the song brings in Dan Reilys grand guitar solo that ricochets back to the bass that just is so addictive, you really cant get enough. After closing out on “Slave Dog”, the guitar riff of “The Curse” kicks in and the one-two punch has had its effect. While the 2nd song of the disc is longer, it by no means doesn’t let down. The chorus in “The Curse” is definitely a strong hook that begs the listener wanting for more tracks than just two.
While the muscianship is top notch, the lyrics behind the snarling vocals could leave more to the imagination. During “Slave Dog” the messaage doesn’t seem so clear, aside from taking what is rightfully yours. The problem being the over excessive amount of words used to get the point across. The lack of clear imagery leaves much of the picturing up to the listener. The other gut wrenching part about this is the short length. It leads a very concise direction, and you’d hope to see more innovative branchings with a group of members so technically talented.
This album might be lacking pretty production, but its packing heat and rage. It literally explodes with its oncoming riff rage and fades out even faster. It effectively does a good job at hyping the band, and leaving the listener for a definite reckoning of more. Even though the lyrics leave most of the message to be taken for yourself, that works out better in the end anyway. Like a great Deftones or Nirvana song, you make more of the meaning out of the obscurity then you would with the real lyrics anyway.
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