Last Lungs

Look At That Old Grizzly Bear

Written by: DR on 18/12/2010 22:30:38

Seeing a band on the label Deep Elm Records is like an instant seal of approval for me. They boast one of the most impressive (and largest) rosters, especially when it comes to up-and-coming acts in the indie and post-rock fields. Enter: Last Lungs. "Look At That Old Grizzly Bear" (great name, right?) is the debut from this quintet from Preston, England, and Deep Elm have struck gold again, with another band who have staggering potential.

Last Lungs operate within the post-rock genre, drawing influence from bands like Explosions In The Sky, The Appleseed Cast, Moving Mountains and I can even hear some Moonlit Sailor in how delighted it sounds. Yes, it's one of the fresh-faced debuts where everything sounds youthful, happy and eager to please. This suits Last Lungs' style, for they're all about the dual, intricate melodies leading into soaring guitar crescendos that are, when done right, utterly irresistable. Opening two songs "Oh, Good Morning" and "33" set the tone with gliding guitar-work and rolling drums that eventually builds to a noisy, or as close as anything pretty can get to being 'noisy', crescendo. It's affirmed then that Last Lungs really know they way around the spectacular.

Probably the most appealing aspect of "Look At That Old Grizzly Bear" is how appealing it actually is. You won't need to be a post-rock-phile or need to know any of those bands I referenced in the second paragraph to like this. I suspect a lot of people are instantly off-put by the genre because of the 'pretentious' label that can be associated with it, which is attributed so because of the long, drawn-out builds that take forever to go anywhere; not Last Lungs. When they're not reaching glorious climax after glorious climax, they're constructing indie-ish soundscapes which are familiar enough to intrique, but new enough to keep the listener engaged.

Title track "Look At That Old Grizzly Bear" is the 'heaviest' song, hell it even includes screams! Compared to the rest of the album it fairs as a standard crescendo, the likes of which this genre has seen plenty of, but it speaks volumes about Last Lungs' ability that it still captures you. Three part "Inglend" is more of that indie, even Fang Island-esque build up, but the final few minutes are the peak of this album, rising into towering/Explosions In The Sky heights. They close the album with two parts of "Now Against The Staircase". The first part slowly descends you back down to earth; the second part welcomes you with group vocals (insert another Fang Island reference), gently you're lulled you into a calm state, until... yes, you guessed it, they sweep you off your feet one final, fantastic time.

Before you go thinking this is near-perfection, it's not quite. This is still very much a debut, albeit it a stunningly promising one. The one area it suffers from is the lack of distinction between songs, perhaps they weren't quite ambitious enough, but I fully expect that side of their music to be realised in the future - after all, this is still a debut, it's easy to forget that. What about the future though, it's bright, that much has been established, and that much can be said of many bands, but just how bright it is? Last Lungs have found a niche for themselves, and they'll only grow and grow until they're no longer a niche band, but trend-setting. "Look At That Old Grizzly Bear" hints that Last Lungs are on the verge of ushering in a new wave of post-rock.

Download: Ingeland, parts 1, 2, 3; Now Against The Staircase, parts 1, 2; 33; Oh, Good Morning
For The Fans of: Fang Island; Explosions In The Sky; Sleepmakeswaves; Eaststrikewest; Caspian; Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson; The Appleseed Cast; Moving Mountains; Moonlit Sailor
Listen: Deep Elm Page

Release Date 03.08.2010
Deep Elm Records

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