Halftime Leisure

Artist Spotlight: Our Last Night

October 26, 2016


You could listen to pop music, but maybe that’s too mainstream for your angsty, alternative self. Might I recommend the Punk Goes Pop albums? They’re exactly what they sound like: all your favorite punk bands covering Billboard’s top hits. Just think about it–Mayday Parade, A Day to Remember, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! taking on Jason Derulo, The Fray, and Ke$ha.

Many punk bands have forayed into the pop cover scene, but the true MVP of Punk Goes Pop is Our Last Night. They’ve covered everyone from Miley Cyrus to One Direction to Alanis Morisette. And it’s glorious.

Our Last Night has its humble origins in the small town of Hollis, New Hampshire. When they set out on their first tour in 2007, lead singer Trevor Wentworth was only thirteen years old. Their first album, The Ghosts Among Us, is, in my humble opinion, a little rough around the edges. The earlier albums of Our Last Night play with a metalcore sound, which I am a-ok with. If you’re asking yourself, “What’s metalcore?” I think a quick sampling of the song titles of The Ghosts Among Us would answer that question pretty nicely. There’s “Symptoms of a Failing System,” “This is Your Lifesaver,” and you can’t forget “I Have Fought a Measureless Battle.” Songs like “Escape” and “Dreamcatcher” showcase the perfect balance between clean and unclean vocals that characterizes metalcore music. In any other circumstance, I’d be screaming right along, but I just can’t get on with young Trevor. In their debut album, he sounds just like a fourteen year old. Considering he was a fourteen old, it’s excusable, but it’s a whole lot of screamo Biebs. If you can look past that, it’s a pretty solid album.

Flash forward to 2013, when they released their third album, The Age of Ignorance. The Age of Ignorance marked their departure from metalcore towards post-hardcore with a shift in their music towards clean vocals. This focus on clean vocals allowed them to dabble with harmonies, something they managed to perfect by the time their EP, Oak Island, rolled out later that same year. Oak Island, although fairly simple and straightforward, is a true gem. The album plays with a dark electronic sound, held down by heavier guitar riffs left over from their metalcore days. The screaming, though fewer and further between, transforms breakdowns into head banging moments of pure genius. Though I genuinely love every song on this EP, “Same Old War” and “Sunrise” are the true standouts.

It’s been over ten years since Our Last Night first formed, and in their most recent album Younger Dreams, Wentworth shines and shows off how he’s grown into his voice over the years; and goddamn, those clean vocals are clean. No doubt Younger Dreams ostracizes their metalcore fans, as it lies on the lighter side of the “-core” spectrum. The electronic vibe of Oak Island is still present in Younger Dreams, and Wentworth takes every opportunity to flaunt his range, with dashes of falsettos and the occasional growl. “White Tiger” will slowly creep its way into your head with a clean, catchy chorus and an overall lighter sound, but songs like “Barricade” will throw you back to their days of metalcore, with plucky acoustic guitar that transitions into screaming. Although Younger Dreams captures elements of their older music, it gives a pretty clear projection of where Our Last Night wants to go with their music. All in all, Younger Dreams manages to beautifully tie together all that is Our Last Night, both past, present, and future.

Our Last Night has proved themselves capable of running with the big dogs, opening for plenty of big name post-hardcore bands like Memphis May Fire, Asking Alexandria, and Sleeping With Sirens (and if you don’t know who those guys are, might I recommend Spotify’s Post Hardcore Crash Course playlist?). Although I’m not the biggest fan of their early albums, their more recent albums show growth in the right direction, even though a lot of that was due to their lead singer finally going through puberty. Even if you don’t think metalcore is your thing, you can’t go wrong with their cover of Bieber’s “Cold Water”. And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard “Blank Space” performed by a post-hardcore band. From the pop princess to the metalhead, Our Last Night’s got you covered.




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