Last Avenue – Hedonism (CD)
2022 comes along and with it a new album by Last Avenue called "Hedonism". The ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life. Well, I had to check and as a service, here we go. It ain't Rock'n'Roll when you have to use a reference book (or software), but Last Avenue isn't your average "heads down no nonsense mindless Boogie" band anyway. Not that I'm not an absolute fan of some of the latter. Quite on the contrary, but let's talk about the new CD instead.
Having released a few albums, you always expect something. Worse, same or better, these are questions that you want answered. Sometimes I think it's very difficult for a band to pile great albums on top of each other. With Last Avenue, they plough ahead and there is progress and it's not progress for progress' sake. There is a natural flow and the current CD does them proud. I'll need to go through the lyrics (I do this very rarely), but something caught my eye and I need to dissect this on a shakespearean level.
The music? Get to the point, I hear you say, we're not at a Bob Dylan lecture. Oh well, the audience has no patience and the instant gratification incentives have taken hold, but fear not, the music! Catchy tracks from start to finish with a certain sophisticated colouring. See "The Beginning", but speaking of the aforementioned "heads down no nonsense mindless boogie", "Dressed To Kill" comes as close to a mosh pit as Last Avenue will allow. Hey, all you rockers out there with tears in your eyes, yes, they did this one for you.
But they haven't forgotten ballads either and in the tradition of the band along comes "This Place Is Magic". However, while both tracks are great, I'd like to know who decided to follow a rocker with a ballad. Something doesn't add up here. I do remember a discussion with "Doctor's Order" back in the day, when they used to throw in a ballad or two in their second set and it broke the flow. I told them so. When you have the band firing on all cylinders, you need to shift gears upwards again. It might work better on media, who am I to say?
Help me out there, where is "Here We Go" borrowed from? This is like, "Oh, hello, long time no see"! Maybe it's just the rhythm that evokes pictures of beaches and sun and cocktails and ... it does have that Carribean feeling and palms (as Ivor Biggun so beautifully described in one of his songs). "(Whatever) Tomorrow Brings" is very much another ballad, but I bet my last Swiss Franc, you won't go outside to do any chores.
"As God Came To Town" lets the guitar rip through the track with a clean sound and a joy to listen to. Sound is actually very important with Last Avenue's releases and I do mean good sound. I can't imagine that a lot of studio time has been sunk into the recording and mastering, but it goes to show, that even with limited funds a band can achieve some outstanding results (of course, I'm only guessing, I can't see Last Avenue being stuffed). "Dualism Sucks" and the guitarist sounds like his real goal in life is being the lead in a Hardrock band. Heavy rhythm and Godzilla on the prowl. Echoes of Motörhead. Yes, forget I said anything.
& Out", I have a problem now, suddenly I realize, I'm mostly following
the guitar player. So let's drop the guy for now. Uh, no! Another showcase for
the man on the electric one. It's getting to be another kind of interesting
with a song like "For What They Were Living For", the voice does carry
the song (with a little help from the guitar).
The closing track is an instrumental named "In The End".
Martin Gaisser: Vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Christian Schönbächler: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jérémie Bochet: Bass, Synth, Backing Vocals
Ron Summers: Drums
Check out the website at www.lastavenue.ch and support the band. You have seen some of their flyers on my Facebook page, showing their gigs throughout Switzerland and neighbouring countries. Catch them while you can, a good time is guaranteed.