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WE REVIEW THE NEW E.P FROM THE LAST CLOUDS – ILLUMINISM

Chester’s very own Doom Pop dystopian misery mongers seem to have found something resembling a silver lining finally in their debut album. If you have more than a passing interest in Moby, Mode, or Numan you need to read on.

Opening track Becomings takes me straight back to U2’s Zoo TV tour, the opening few bars instantly remind me of Zoo Station – not the best of starts I’m thinking but then the track evolves and the journey across a long line of influences, deliberate or not but the magic begins albeit with a caveat I’ll cover later, echos of the turn of the century are bouncing round my head, this could so easily be a Moby cover.

Origin hits much harder dominated by a deep bass punch, stripped and slower than the opener, and very similar to Numans later work in construction, moody and powerful.

Empty Room is a dance track with deconstructed, trance-like moments powering the vocals along as it builds to the inevitable drop and final blast it’s somewhat of a homage to the days of chilled-out euphoria.

Earth’s Light is, without doubt, the most unlikely Last Clouds track you are likely to hear, it’s actually borderline upbeat with its Fucky Drummer drums and high BPM, a refreshing change to the ears and I hope to hear more tracks like this from them going forward.

Turnpike is a track that has been around for some time and along with Damage which appears a couple of tracks later are the only 2 on the album that has been around in one guise or another prior to this debut release.

Another Way To Fall is another track that on 1st listen you’d swear was a Moby track circa the turn of the century, you could easily see it closing out an action-adventure film, soaring synths, BV’s, and electric brasswork all present and correct. It’s probably the most complete song on the album and by far the most stand-out track of the album.



Fog Of Lies is somewhat of a disappointment as the closing track, for me it’s by far the weakest on the album, somewhat slow, pondering, and lacking structure, it’s not bad by any means, it just doesn’t match the bar set by the tracks that preceded it so the album finds itself somewhat going out on a whimper rather than the bang I was longing for.

There’s a lot of promise showing on this debut but there’s an elephant in the room that’s pretty common with unsigned bands, the self-production lets an album such as this down. Last Cloud’s music is all about anthemic layers, soaring highs, and floor-crashing drops but it’s all a little lost with the production. It wasn’t something I noticed too much listening in the car or with headphones but when listening on my home system other than Another Way To Fall and Damage there are massive holes in the soundstage that lets the release down somewhat but like I said I only noticed this giving it a final few playthroughs on my home system so probably won’t even get picked up on by many.

So to sum up, it’s a good effort hampered by either a lack of funds or belief – with professional production some tracks could soar rather than merely fly, their ideas are all there and the results have paid off to some extent but for all the layers, it’s lacking that last bit, it doesn’t make it bad – far from it – it’s a sterling effort but instead of just being great it could have easily been epic.

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