Saturday, November 19, 2016

[ Album Review ] Last Letters - Nothing to Write Home About EP

Artist: Last Letters
Album: Nothing to Write Home About EP

Last Letters is a collection of emo rock songs by singer / songwriter Charles Iwuc. Hailing from Boston MA, Charles makes an impressive debut with "Nothing to Write Home About". The EP was released November 11th, 2016 and features full band, high energy songs about the trials and tribulations of growing up, trying to find yourself, and the search for real love as a young adult. Last Letters has a sound similar to bands like Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, All Time Low, and modern pop punk bands like The Wonder Years, and Modern Baseball. Honest lyrics, powerful hooks, and impressive musical chops, we look forward to future releases from this Boston native!

Here's our review of "Nothing to Write Home About"


Hold On – you can hear the footsteps on a wooden floor as Charles sits down with his acoustic guitar. Crisp acoustic chords start this serenade, drums come crashing in, with strong gang vocals in the chorus “selfish all the time, hang me out on the line, I wanted to tell you something, but all that came out was self- defeat… "Hold on, you’re mine,(forever and after)” This song is short and sweet... but don't let it fool you, the rest of this EP is high energy and melodic emo rock to its core. 

Twenty – Two – "Twenty two, I can't get away from your heart" Reminiscent of bands like Blink 182, Good Charlotte, and 30 Seconds to Mars. The airwaves are infiltrated with D-beats, incredibly in-sync electric guitars and bass lines, a song full of pop punk (and occasionally doom metal moments). The harmonies and gang vocals make it hard not to sing along. “You say don't smash your heart. This body is yours. You say we can practice our love right here on the floor" as the song fades away into guitar amp feedback. 

The Lake – (personal favorite) upbeat, punk beats rattle through the intro, Charles sings of a pretty girl with her hair up in the reflection of the sun, Summers spent trying to find yourself as you’re growing up “I want you to tell me what I have to do”... “you left me here on my own and I don’t know where to go now” High energy through and through,this song is very well produced, drums like machine guns, bass and airy electric guitars in the verses, that switch styles almost every few phrases, calls and responses...“I'll hold you over my shoulders, we’ll take a walk near the lake where its colder, give me a break and give me a moment, hear my words and let them sink in” Charles voice really shines on this track, going from smooth pop rock vocals, to raspy rockin' phrases. What's interesting is listening and not being able to predict what’s going to happen next.

One Cannon – the song starts with dark, crispy distorted bass “She makes me wanna drive all night"  Those late night drives to get to your girl or guy... most of us have been there... at least, I know The Proclaimers can relate! “She can hold my breath in one hand, lately I’m a wreck with one cannon” Screaming call and response, the energy is tangible, like a sweaty basement show in New Jersey. Everything dropping out at the end to an acoustic rendition of the chorus. 

Then and Now – cymbals and drums rage with electric guitar like a train running off the tracks, octaves and bass filling out the soundscape “When did life get so bland? I'm getting old and it's the cold that I can’t stand”..."Save me now, I'm running out of time" drums speed up to match the lyrical sentiment, like the music is an echo of the song. “in a bar staying up all night, drinking gin, wearing thin, it's quite alright” Long days, long night's and feeling like there's so much more you should be doing. Songs fueled by failed relationships, and the bright hope of being saved by renewed love. 

Lately – intricate electric guitar, pretty and ascending, panned warm fuzzed electric rhythm guitars, vocals with warm harmonies leave you on the edge of your seat, anticipating the chorus hook to drop “Lately, I'm hating how I couldn’t tell you how I felt” With a chill beat and electric guitar solo layered like butter on Italian bread, bass and rhythm sink its teeth into the second verse, showing a little more aggression as the story develops about two lovers, and a relationship not going very well. Synth/ String pads fill out the rapid drum sections, and pretty guitar solo. Charles drops his voice down effortlessly as the last chorus builds with snare rolls, and comes crashing back swinging, stalls on the drums and emotions flying high cause anticipation and build excitement as the song comes to an impressive ending. 

The Girl Next Door – Get ready for some epic girl at the rock show vibes “She put on my Saves the Day shirt and walked home, I guess I'll have to go and get it tomorrow” Charles talks about every teenage boys fantasy, falling in love with the girl next door, and all the intimate encounters that follow suit. Comically changing the name of the band t-shirt she walks away in each time the chorus comes around, shout-outs to Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line “Do you wanna today? I’m already late, do you wanna today? I wanna get laid” An honest, relatable song, with melodies so catchy it'll be hard to shake this one out of your brain for the next few days. sidenote... the last chord of the album is just another example of the musical choices, and in depth production choices that make Last Letters stand out as a force to be reckoned with in the pop punk / emo rock genre. 

Make sure to follow Last Letters on Facebook, and Soundcloud