Sunday, October 11, 2015

For what it’s worth, The Last Cavalry’s single launch last Thursday night was a mixed-bag affair. And, in truth, the mix was confined to the band of the hour themselves; starting one way, surprising yours truly with choice of star single, and then dancing with the Beatles*. But more about them later…

Let’s talk party guests. I arrived to catch the tail end of Mount Zamia’s set. A wall of guitars, two leads to boot… sort of. Fun, friendly rock with a nuanced guitar that tripped over itself before finding its place, proving effective come the last song. 

The real party band for hire, Tijuana Stag Party, time traveled their way through a set which came close enough to justifying their name. To prove their point, the word ‘Mexico’ worked its way into the lyrics at most turns. As a three piece, Tijuana Stag brought all the good intentions of party without sending it into hyper-drive. Latin meets rock meets beat (and a guitarist offering the aesthetics of Ronnie Wood). All in good fun… though there was a real thirst for a fuller sound to justify the experience. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with stripping it back, but these guys were sitting half-way. I longed for horns and, voila! I got a saxophone on a crowd pleasing rendition of ‘Tequila’…. Halfway through said rendition, I was longing for a trumpet. And then it happened… I longed for a cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ and was treated with a song with ‘Lovin’ in the title. Close enough, I guess. 

Fox Company powered through their set with a collection of swift punches, a collection of rock riffs that have served the genre well. And, as I’ve said on previous occasions, there’s not a damn thing wrong with recycling when it’s delivered with such fierce gusto (cramped stage on-the-spot jogging included). It has been a year of enthusiastic bass players, and Company’s own was the man to call for support (it’s all about giving a bassist something to do, really. I’m kidding!) A group of three blocked the unsung hero: the drummer. The young guy deserved some elevation. Good stuff from Fox Company. Not exactly memorable… but solid, well-served rock.

And then they had their day. The Last Cavalry started with a sound that edged towards Muse, though lacking in synths. My takeaway was a reminder that I can’t wait to catch Perth band Digital Order live (‘Foreign Gold’ is an amazing track). But, yep, I’ll stick to the band at hand… and the gift of the night, their single ‘Interceptor’. Said song bopped along like a punk snack-pack, surprising me with its ‘aim for catchiness’ delivery. I guess I was expecting something on the harder side (after all, when you’re calling a track ‘Interceptor’ and you’ve got a jet airplane as a logo… too obvious?). Not to worry. It was a solid little track, one that deviated from the overall mix that Cavalry offered (they dropped the Muse-lite comparison after the first two tracks). It was the song that followed, ‘House of Cards’, which truly impressed. A slower, meaner rock track…. a track that must have been begging at the 11th hour for lead single glory. But, hey, there’s gold to be found on the B-side… and ‘House of Cards’ be that gold for The Last Cavalry. 

*'I Saw Her Standing There'

Written by D.L. Bugeja

Featuring: Mount Zamia, Tijuana Stag Party, Fox Company
Photographer: Joshua Pike