Review: “Burden” by Last Hounds

“This album is a social commentary stemming from the ideology of wanting to burn the world down and rebuild. The current state of the world around us is echoed throughout this album, through its aggressive tones and harsh, honest lyrics. The pandemic has unearthed fundamental issues within our society; extreme poverty, racism, inequality and our desperate need to battle climate change. This responsibility does not fall upon the shoulders of the rich, the wealthy or those in positions of power. It is a burden that has been weighted upon the shoulders of innocent people and the younger generations of this world. We realise that we all have an individual part to play in tackling the many problems to ensure a better life and society for tomorrow. We as a band are fortunate to have a platform to shout our frustrations and give a voice to those who often go unheard even though they share the same responsibility of righting these wrongs. And with that, we are proud to give you our debut album, Burden.” ~ Last Hounds

Two years of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into their debut full length album by Midlands Hardcore Punks Last Hounds who worked with an Underground Metal legend with a glowing reputation in Myroslav Borys (Confessions Of A Traitor, Sertraline, Monasteries) at Jigsaw Audio who produced, mixed, mastered and engineered the twelve track affair. Whether it has been Pandemic delayed or not, in promoting it the band have  released a string of music videos like a trail of crumbs leading us to the Gingerbread House and the wicked witch within over the duration of those two years that has effectively given us eight of those cuts while at the same time keeping the band in the public eye. That can be a double edged sword in that on the one hand some may not rush to listen to the full album having already heard the majority of the work already but at the same time, being seemingly dormant for almost two years isn’t an option for a going places band…

 …Last Hounds have a reputation for a high octane adrenaline fueled live show and while some bands struggle to capture that energy on a record, with the help of Myroslav Borys, that lightening in a bottle has been achieved in style with “Burden“. An album loaded with Hardcore Punk anthems with clear influences from the likes of Gallows and Comeback Kid that has all the swagger of a band who feel assured in this material, each one being a tried and tested piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The huge sing-a-long choruses of cuts like “Handmade” and “Balaclava” combined with the the two step riffs make them a pair of instant winners after opening cut “Snakeskin” raises a middle finger to get things going. It’s a fearfully addictive record that pulls no punches lyrically as vocalist Mike Skelcher speaks his mind while having an instantly gratifying nature with a familiar feel that is an absolute joy. Crossing into rap screams in parts of “Running with the Dead” while bringing out some letlive influenced riffs, it’s all bounce in preparation for the high fives and stage dives of those shows that are the bands stock in trade.

There are times in a number of tracks that Last Hounds threaten to reach similar territory to Stray From The Path and while they don’t have the harder hitting edge to their sound or mirror the Tom Morello guitar work as much, they have that same fire, that same energy and that same swagger and confidence. There are also a political and socially aware threads to the lyrics that both bands have, Last Hounds making theirs less air apparent but there is still plenty to think about within these words and the fierce ending to “Extraordinary” is a fine testament to that. There is no reason why Last Hounds should not be top of the pile when it comes to Festival appearances and regularly appearing on cover of Kerrang! Magazine, they have the material and they have the live show in their locker. It just seems like a matter of time, one major tour support slot to get the ball rolling and they will sky rocket, the potential is limitless [8/10]

Track listing

  1.    Snakeskin
  2.    Handmade
  3.    Balaclava
  4.    Running with the Dead
  5.    Slow Burn
  6.    Incinerate
  7.    Bleed
  8.    They Say
  9.    Extraordinary
  10.    Lay Me Down
  11.    Do or Die
  12.    Innocence

“Burden” by Last Hounds is out 22nd October 2021 via Venn Records and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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