2. Sent Me to Hell
3. Age of Ignorance
4. Reason to Love
5. Liberate Me
10. A Sun that Never Sets
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Growing up is hard. Let’s all face it; that awkward phase between a child and an adult is no fun at all. And that phase is what New Hampshire’s Our Last Night is going through right now. They once were a band that combined the metalcore rage of Underoath with the thoughtful melodicism of Saosin. The results fell short of excellent, but there was certainly a level of enjoyment to be had with the band’s past catalogue of fun, catchy metalcore.
Fast forward to 2012, and these gentlemen have decided they want to grow up. Instead of singing (or screaming) about bad girlfriends and youthful rage, these songs target their anger at religion, ignorance, and politics. It’s clear from the first word that Our Last Night has a beef with all that the Republican Party holds dear: God, corporations, and limiting the scope of government. Of course, everything the band has to say has been said by literally thousands of bands, so the message is a bit boring by now. Also, some of the lyrics come across like the prototypical 2 A.M. musings of a newly liberalized college kid, which is not a complement.
Of course this shift in “maturity” is also evident in the music. The band has toned down the harsh vocals significantly, which leaves Matt Wentworth to carry the entirety of the vocal load. His cleans are well done, if a bit too auto-tuned at times. His melodies were previously the better points of the band’s past, but when there is no countervailing force to balance out the melody, something is a bit lacking on the clean-only tracks. The blame cannot go squarely on the shoulders of Matt, however, as the rest of the band seems to slack when the heavy quotient dips below maximal levels. In fact, the best tracks on the album are the ones that feature the heavier elements of the band’s sound (as well as screaming). “Fate” and “Liberate Me” would have fit in very nicely on We Will All Evolve. The hooks are punchy, the guitar work borders on great, and the songs are actually memorable.
All of the above would lead you to the conclusion that this album is terrible, right? Somehow despite all of the negatives, the album is still quite enjoyable. Sure, the lyrics are cliché (albeit improved), and the songs lack a certain bite that made We Will All Evolve work. However, the resulting musical melting pot actually works. Age of Ignorance shows quite a bit of promise for what could come in the future for these New Hampshire-ians (-ites?), as the added rock influence helps make each song more memorable than it should be. Gone are annoying breakdowns and an overabundance of poor screaming; left in its wake are guitar solos and more hooks.
Our Last Night is the ultimate album to showcase musical growing pains. An improved awareness of the band’s surroundings will aid them in future albums, even if it’s quite cliché now; competent musicianship, if improved upon in further releases, will help the band grow out of this adolescent phase. For now, listeners are left with an awkward yet enjoyable Saosin-style band.