By Jordan Mooney.
Proof-read by Lydia Byron.
The Last Cry are one of many bands we first witnessed at Whitby Goth Weekend – and we’ve always lauded them for the sheer emotion, and for that immersive, heart rending capability of their output on stage. To see frontman Andrew Birch opening himself up on stage – nearly tearing himself apart with his own utter involvement in his art, backed so deftly by Chris, (bass & keys) Tim (guitar & keys) and Mark (guitar), Is always going to be an immensely personal experience.
But can that really be captured on a compact disc? I had never taken the initiative to purchase a physical copy of The Last Cry before, and so, with the arrival of their latest release, Goodbye, slipping through the letterbox on a cool October Tuesday, we were given a chance to see just how well a piece of recorded material can capture what feels like a very live-exclusive experience.
It’s rather rare we deal in ‘proper Goth’ at Cat on the Wall – despite being the WGW Webzine, we do delve more particularly towards the funkier, punkier sides of the alternative world. So it was a nice change of pace to leave behind a world of crunchy guitars and into a softer, more introspective record.
Goodbye is very clearly an album built upon the concept of leaving the darker side of ourselves behind; it’s very much Mr. Birch cutting the bonds of the past – cutting ropes that have hung around the neck. However, rather than violently kicking it to the ground, it feels slow, remorseful, regretful. It feels personal. Who truly comes out of a lost relationship, lost emotion, or lost feeling without a certain amount of sadness? To do so without regret simply isn’t human, and The Last Cry feel at their most relatable with their take on it all. Some of them even feel contradictory, some overly extreme – but only in the most human and personable of manners. It feels very natural, it feels flowing, and it feels very deftly put together.
It feels like an album for the solitary; the lone wolf. Fitting, one supposes, for the world of Goth…
What’s fascinating about The Last Cry’s song writing is their capability of mapping out unashamedly specific feelings, emotions and aspects of their lives – but choosing those that will connect best to an audience. It doesn’t feel naive or simple, nor is it over-dramatised. It feels like a photo album of the paths already travelled. Dare I say, even a soap opera of lives on similar paths but no clear destination.
In terms of actual sound, it really is definitive Last Cry material – in itself a pretty damn definitive element of Goth. There’s a wave, a smooth elegance to their music. It’s the execution that has always endeared the group to me, and it’s captured on a compact disc in spades – far more than I had ever expected.
From the head nodding The Night That I Saw You, the impressively catchy, high tempo – and relatively aggressive – Truth and Lies to the Balladeer’s finale in Goodbye, the album never retreads old ground and remains immensely refreshing, even if it never intends to be game-changing alternative fare.
If you like that delightful flavour only a dark, alternative nightspot smelling of clove cigarettes and strong liquor can provide, this is an album for you. It’s pure, it’s genuine, it’s emotional and it’s a very personal invite into the farewells past – and present – of Mr. Andrew Birch. The Last Cry are not only one of the best groups we’ve seen at Goth Weekend, but one of the most important alternative groups we know. Check the album out, and check them out – we promise you, you won’t regret it.
Goodbye was released on the 3rd of September 2016, and is now available to purchase through Bandcamp.