HomeReviewReview: “The Price of Freedom” EP by Last Wishes
3rd October 2018
Review: “The Price of Freedom” EP by Last Wishes
Recorded in Dublin in the spring 2018 by Killian McAuley with Mixing and Mastering by Adam Rogers, Belfast Hardcore quartet Last Wishes released “The Price of Freedom” at the end of August, their fifth release since their 2015 demo debut. We had the joy of witnessing the band’s set at this summer’s Upsurge Festival at The New Cross Inn in London just a handful of days after the EP’s release. The EP features a pair of songs which have been re-recorded from the bands 1st March “2018 Promo” EP in “No Solace” and “Survival Instinct” and the later is notable as it doesn’t feature any guest vocal cameo, the demo having featured Ryan McConell.
The first thing that is immediately noticeable during the opening riff attack of “Knowledge of Self” is the quality of the drum recording. It’s raw at best and while the bass kicks and fills aren’t effected, the symbol hits and snare are muddied in the mix and suffering from reverb. What that does is give the songs an old school hardcore sound – a sort of demo recorded in your basement, DIY feel, which is nice and grows on you with multiple listens. The Madball influence is strong (the band have previously covered “Lockdown”) and driven basslines, riffage and that punk pace keeps things tight. “Face 2 Face” continues the pace while bringing in more variety in Corin’s ferocious vocal spit and adding a tasteful speech sample “Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell”. At just 190 seconds, it’s the longest cut of the EP.
Title track “The Price of Freedom” brings in some crossover Thrash elements including the sort of whammy bar action that Power Trip love. The drum sound is slightly improved in the mix on this one with the pounding fills driving the snappy guitars but Corin’s vocals are the star on this one, all bark and bite like a rabid dog. “No Solace” cries out for you to know your past and lyrically ties in with the themes of the earlier tracks. The re-recording gives the benefit of the Mixing and Mastering matching up, so the track doesn’t sound out of place at all. The swift tempo changes see the music move seamlessly through the gears from the intro into the verse with the call of “it’s on” and showcase some real craft in their sound. Another film sample acts as a Segway into closer “Survival Instinct” which is the second re-recording. It’s another one which showcases some crossover Thrash influences and whammy bar action, while making you reminisce about the early careers of bands like Suicidal Tendencies. It may not have the quality of recording of 2017’s “Stepped On Since Birth” and all the clean vocals have been dropped, but what it does have is enough spark to start a fire [7/10].
Knowledge of Self
Face 2 Face
The Price of Freedom
“The Price of Freedom” by Last Wishes is out now and available via bandcamp. Cassette Tapes are available via Neutral Words Recordings.