From the first notes of Last Import's self-titled debut full-length, there is a feeling that something different is going on here. The formless and free-flowing nature of "Lunar Rhapsody" acts almost as a palate cleanser for what you, the listener, are going to experience over the next 30 or so minutes. The band's debut EP Songs For Adam was released a year and a day prior to Last Import. Since then, Last Import has been riding a wave of increasing popularity. They received play on radio stations like the Current and Go96, and they've opened for Bastille and Lany at the Palace Theater.
Last Import expands on the ideas explored on their debut EP. To boil down the band's sound, they are a punk-influenced surf rock trio, but this is a gross oversimplification. There is a fire at the musical foundation of Last Import that propels everything that is heaped on top. Staccato guitars, pummeling drums, and fluid bass lines create dynamic performances that add depth to the simplistic foundation. The vocal performances of guitarist Emily Bjorke in combination with bassist Grace Baldwin can take a track from soulfully understated to in-your-face in a matter of seconds. There is nuance. These songs live and breathe with you.
Over half of the tracks found on their debut EP have made their way onto this record. These tracks have been left untouched in the best way possible. Fan favorite "Money" still has its sneer, "7 Lives" continues to strut along, and Bjorke shows off her vocal prowess on "One a Day." The context of a full record gives these songs new energy to them, which is something I really enjoyed. "Money" stoked the flames early on to propel Last Import into the more low key and melodic sections found in "Stay Rad, Ponyboy" and "Per Aspera Ad Astra" before the final boost of "Blood Sugar."
Last Import's debut record is something that is both familiar yet new. This album's power allows it to stand shoulder to shoulder with their more punk contemporaries, but it's their melodic hooks that make the band accessible to a wide range of people.
You can listen to Last Import's self-titled debut record anywhere you get your music. Click the link below to purchase it through their Bandcamp page and support this amazing Minnesota band.
Favorite Tracks: "(Fast Times At) Space Mountian," "Hot Damn," "Blood Sugar," "Money"