Thursday 28 May 2015

Review: The Last Dance – 'Ruins'


It has been a long time coming but it's finally here. A new album from The Last Dance in the form of 'Ruins'. The pioneering darkwave band's last full-length studio output was back in 2005 with the brilliant 'Once Beautiful'. In that time the band have scattered across the globe and for a while it looked like their legacy may have been lost to the winds. But in the wake of a well received single in the form of 'Cages' in 2012, the band slowly began to regroup for something bigger. Which brings us up-to-date.

Despite a decade passing between releases it doesn't sound like they have been apart for more than a day. As the opening track 'Mesmerize' emerges from the silence, it is evident that all the classic elements that endeared the band to fans across the world are still all present and correct. The haunting vocals, throbbing bass, distinctive guitars, and catchy electronic hooks. But this isn't an exercise in nostalgia. This is a band creating music for 2015 and it shows. Songs such as 'Missing', 'KatSong', 'Cages', 'Edge Of The World', 'Scars', 'Medicine' and 'Still Waters' are some of the best darkwave songs to have come out in the past few years and the band can hold their heads up high knowing that they have come back and on top form.

The band blend uplifting music and gothic melancholia with great effect, but especially on the ballad-like duet that is 'Still', the hard and aggressive 'Thoughtless', and the piano-led cabaret of 'Everything That You Ever Wanted'.

The production is pretty strong for the most part. It is of the quality that you'd expect form a veteran act such as The Last Dance, and despite one or two parts which hit the ear a little flat it is fairly level throughout, with the choruses getting a big kick to really take them up a notch.

This is a strong return from a band that was sorely missed by many. And it is fair to say that 'Ruins' win them new fans and satisfy older ones. There's no re-workings of old songs, there's no trying to live up to their legacy, they have simply written an album that embodies who The Last Dance are in 2015 and it holds its own with the classics in their back catalogue.

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