Subtlety – this is a word that metalcore troupe The Last Word have either never heard of or view with disdain. With their debut record Endlessly Crashing the group have shunned and eradicated any notion of rawness, integrity and originality in favour of the most brash, hyper-produced, polished and frantically daft collection of songs humanly possible. The whole album has a general feel that all of the band’s members have ADHD to varying extents, never content to let a song breathe but instead filling it with as many over-the-top musical theatrics and pointless little sound effects possible. The drums have been polished and beefed up to such an extent they are downright robotic and a relentless double kick never lets up, always pounding away with machine gun precision. The guitars peddle the same old metalcore riffs and techniques with similar robotic meticulousness. Throaty screams and growls give way to ‘clean‘ vocals which are admittedly very well sung and soar above the cacophony of instruments. “I tried to save you. But I couldn’t save you” are just some of the ‘deep‘ and ‘insightful’ lyrics offered by the band. Nevertheless the choruses do have some sing-a-long potential, even if the words are apparently meaningless quasi-emotional phrases strung together to form some kind of half-coherent narrative.
Opening track “The Crushing View” is arguably the most ludicrous on the album. Synthesised strings and military drumming instill a sense of over-the-top pomp, a theme that remains for all fourteen tracks. “Faith In Chaos” follows with crushing beatdown after beatdown and histrionics from all band members instantly reaching levels of ridiculousness. A much needed respite is reached in the closing seconds of “The End Of Us” in the form of an uncharacteristically delicate piano sequence that ends all too quickly before “The Tempest” erupts in a flurry of Protest The Hero guitar theatrics and glitch sound effects that do nothing except return attention to the artificiality of the record. “This Was Never Yours” a song which has inexplicably racked up over a hundred thousand views on Youtube shows the band’s more mellow side for about five seconds before it launches another full and unrestrained assault on the ears. “The Closing Chapter” is he token ‘emotional’ song. Despite featuring acoustic guitars and more gentle approach by the band the production is still so synthetic and clean you can almost smell the bleach. Closer “Lost In Between” attempts to end on a similar level of pomp as the opener, again employing the dreaded synth strings in an attempt to reach epic proportions yet ultimately ends up sounding like every other song on the record- bloated and devoid of sincerity.
To put it simply – this album basically sounds like Enter Shikari if they didn’t have any taste or forward thinking capacity and kept the swept fringes. With any luck, this album will be the death-knell of this terrible synthetic brand of generic metalcore. However, considering the success of bands such as Asking Alexandria and *shudder* Motionless In White it seems that this dead end sub-genre still has some life left in its decaying lungs. Expect to see The Last Word on the cover of Rocksound in about a year.
1 out of 5 high fives!