THE LAST VEGAS – Sweet Salvation (2014)
We have presented at 0dayrox the Chicago-based outfit THE LAST VEGAS a couple years ago, now the hard rockers are releasing their fifth studio album “Sweet Salvation” recorded at the end of 2013 in Los Angeles, California by renowned producer and engineer Roy Z (Halford, Bruce Dickinson).
As on the previous CD, the sextet delivers a bunch of well-crafted sleazy, hard-edged rock songs, a mix of ’80s influenced rock ‘n’ roll with a 21st century sonic update. The band and Roy Z decided to track down the songs live and in one room, aiming to capture the same raw energy delivered by The Last Vegas on stage.
“Touch The Sky” gets the album started with an eastern styled intro creating trippy mysticism. With vocalist Chad Cherry welcoming us to come inside, it’s a slow groove of a song that brings to mind Love/Hate’s ‘Wasted In America’ to these ears.
Next we have the modern, fresh first single “Come With Me”, driven by tribal beats, low slung guitar riffs and cool-as-you-like vocals, this is like a multi-coloured aural mix of Jane’s Addiction and the Sunset Strip in its heyday, a true winner.
If you are not aware of The Last Vegas it will not take too long to figure out their sound and their influences. They join a long line of bands that grew up on the likes of Aerosmith or Alice Cooper, and later Motley Crue and Guns ‘N Roses.
Sure, there is an ’80s rock feel to their sound, at times I am reminded of Ratt, Kix and Love/Hate, but they are far from retro or dated. They take all the cool elements of those bands and mix it up in their very own new millennium style.
Is it just me or does Chad sounds uncannily like Steve Whiteman from Kix? I never noticed before but it suddenly hit me on first listen of the excellent “Miss You”. With its early Aerosmith sexy groove, soulful vibe and with the addition of some sweet Hammond organ thrown in for good measure, it’s a standout track here and I just can’t get enough of it.
Hard edged and metallic rock ‘n’ roll tunes follow, the likes of “Invincible Summer”, “Face In The Crowd” and the awesome early Motley Crue-like “Lucky 13” (my favorite) are the sort of songs that will kick you in the face live I imagine.
The guitars of Adam Arling, Johnny Wator and new guy Bryan Wilkinson (yes, they have 3 guitarists) deliver the hot riffs straight from the crotch and with some tasty, fuzzed up solos.
“You & Me (You Never Know)” is the sort of dark, street anthem that creeps up behind you unannounced, featuring cool gang backing vocals that make it a sinister sounding beast. In “Death Style” The Last Vegas have created the modern anthem for their young listeners: “I’m the drug of choice for a new generation, this is our time, this is our life” – a bold statement maybe, but one that could well ring true if heard in the right places.
With “Sweet Salvation”, The Last Vegas prove that the USA can still do it in your face: sleazy rock ‘n’ roll as well as anything the Swedes can throw our way these days.
With just 9 tracks they do keep it short and sweet, and being someone who sometimes has a short attention span for overlong albums these days this is something I applaud. Generally speaking if it won’t fit on one side of a c90 cassette it’s too long!
01 – Touch The Sky
02 – Come With Me
03 – Invicible Summer
04 – Lucky 13
05 – Miss You
06 – Face In The Crowd
07 – You & Me (You Never Know)
08 – Death Style
09 – Sweet Salvation
Chad Cherry – Vocals
Adam Arling – Guitar
Johnny Wator – Guitar
Bryan Wilkinson – Guitar
Danny Smash – Bass
Nathan Arling – Drums
BUY IT !