Californian punks The Last Gang have been a band to watch for a while now, since they signed to Fat Wreck Chords with the release of their previous album, Keep Them Counting. They’ve recently released a new album titled Noise Noise Noise which I was particularly excited about, considering the raft of talent that has helped to produce the album – it was co-produced by Fat Mike of NOFX, Useless ID’s Yotam Ben Horin, and Cameron Webb, and you can really hear their influence on the record.
By Jane Howkins
Whilst they’ve always been a punk band of sorts, there is much more of a reggae/ska influence on Noise Noise Noise than before, which is a welcome addition considering that the punk genre can sometimes get a little stale after a while. The title track opens the album and was one of my favourite songs here, opening it nicely and displaying the ska/reggae theme well. It’s one of the slowest songs on the record but it soon ramps up the energy with WFTW and Prosthetic Lost Cause which have more of a classic punk rock/melodic hardcore vibe to them.
Panic Dreaming starts off with a slow, acoustic ska rhythm before the song kicks into full throttle mode – the chorus is incredibly catchy and will have you singing along almost instantly, despite the heaviness of the chords. The way The Last Gang manages to mix together heavy riffs and a rock and roll attitude with a sense of melody is amazing and should appeal to fans across a wide range of punk genres. New Skin brings the reggae feel back on the verses, with the song having quite a dark atmosphere to it.
As with most good punk bands, the lyrics have a political bent to them and make for interesting listening – The Last Gang have had a particularly hard time of it with the pandemic and you can really feel the anger and tension within Brenna Red’s vocals – her voice reminds me somewhat of Brody Dalle from The Distillers and I’m a big fan of that band so this was also a plus for me! Noise Noise Noise is a fantastic punk album and it’s amazing to hear a band of this genre actually trying something different instead of recycling the same old three chord formula – it’s well worth checking out for fans of punk, reggae and everything in between!