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8 out of 10
Last Harbour are borne of a sound that dwells in dark underground drinking establishments. They sound how Bon Iver might if they only played at wakes or if they plied Nick Cave with enough barrels of rum to come and sing with them. The menacingly dark music that Last Harbour make is akin to a confessional scene in a Georges Bataille novel. A worrying cloud parks itself neatly over the listeners head as soon as Saint Luminous Bride begins and the this does not let up, in fact it grows darker, denser and crackles with revolutionary vitriol and melancholy. This is not the revolutionary type that might be represented by a red fist (or right hand) that you might know and claim to agree with. No this is an internal revolution a cleansing that has nothing to do with ethnicity and all to do with the soul, catharsis and not implausibly exorcism.
At times the slow, sometimes sparse often overflowing trudge of Last Harbour can provoke a pang of worthlessness not dissimilar to watching Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, 21 Grams or perhaps Irreversible backwards, all of which leave the audience with an overbearing sense of despair. And for this four track EP to be mentioned in the same breath as those four films is nothing but a testament to the process of Last Harbour. Too often musicians forego the concept is less is more and forget the power of playing the perfect notes rather than as many as possible, thankfully Last Harbour are not guilty of that crime, proof of which can be found specifically on the clambering of Brothers and left to their own devices this Mancunian collective could produce something as breathtaking and heart-wrenching as Jane Doe. A Converge comparison? Far flung from left field that came, yet musical comparisons are not purely based upon sound - crack that one if you will.
1. Saint Luminous Bride
2. The Rifleman & The Bird