Ryan Hardwick, David Kuhlman, Tony Robinson, Joe Kepich have been our guests here on IDIOTEQ before and it’s always a great pleasure to re-connect with the power-quartet from Ohio and be able to broadcast their new action packed tunes. LAST GASP just released a trio of new bangers and to celebrate, we have teamed up to give you a special commentary on each track and wrap up the 2022 with their list of top records of the year! Yay!
The new mosh-ready jams came out in conjunction of the great news of the band’s signing with the prolific WAR Records!
Cleveland, Ohio’s Last Gasp have turned heads across the Midwest with their high energy live shows. Since the release of their demo in 2020, the band has continued to churn out releases including their debut LP in 2021, The Storied Weight of it All.
Despite a global pandemic and member losses, Last bprove that they are here to stay. Towing the line between punk and hardcore, Last Gasp move at the pace of early AFI with the twists and turns of NYHC all while being pushed through the grinder of early 2000’s hardcore bands like Carry On & Right Brigade. With tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and brutal honesty, the band’s lyrics are written to connect with listeners from all walks of life. Last Gasp have no desire to follow the trends to become hardcore’s “next big thing”, but rather strive to prove that their live show and individuality is ultimately what will set them apart from the pack.
Track by track commentary by the band:
Difference in Stopping and Concluding
This might be my favorite track on the promo. As soon as I heard this demo I wanted to knock out a stranger.
Last Gasp has had many ups and downs in the past two years. Currently, things are better than they’ve ever been and we’re firing on all cylinders, but the year before we made some line up changes things had became pretty stressful. That’s the way it goes I suppose, people come and go but I started this band to have fun and it didn’t feel very fun anymore. I’m older and wiser now and I truly have no time for drama or let downs. This track is really about the struggle I have juggling my hobby (playing in a band, and actively supporting the scene and going to shows) which I care deeply about and my everyday responsibilities ( running a business, being a father, updating my house, being a husband). It’s a lot to have on your plate but I still have the fire for hardcore. I still have some big goals for this band so we’re not done yet. There’s a difference in stopping and concluding.
I can’t win!
It’s never over.
This worlds not big enough for one another. I’ve only been my own worst enemy. Your average low key tragedy A Fantasy vs reality, tearing me apart
Still fumble finding words, the right fucking words. Too many nouns and not enough verbs.
Do I stay or do I go
Does it make me happy?
I don’t know?
So it starts so it goes
Dangerous highs to the lowest of lows
You think I’d be old enough to know
I’ve been here before I’ll be here again till the cycle breaks
But What if it’s too late?
Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard
This one reads pretty easy. I’ve struggled with many forms of addiction over my life and wanted to express the rollercoaster life can be while using or fighting the disease of addiction. I’m on a much brighter path these days but you can’t write about the struggle if you’ve never walked the razors edge. I’ve written a few songs about my alcoholism but never really addressed the drug issues in my lyrics. I read multiple sobriety charged memoirs over the Summer and felt inspired. Those nights running the streets are so exhausting and once it stops being fun you’ve gotta make some serious decisions. I’m grateful for the life I have now and have to remind myself how easily it can all vanish if I were to welcome old habits into my life. I’m no spokesman and I still struggle myself but If anyone is dealing with these issues or feelings and want to find some clarity or talk please reach out. Addiction is a dog from
Hell and you’re not alone.
I see you dance the razors edge
Through 9 tired lives and still not dead
See your reflection in a dirty mirror
Can’t recognize yourself because the pictures not clear
Painted smile on your anxious face
A picture worth a thousand words or likes Whatever they say
You wanna live forever
You wanna be sharp as can be
you’ve been dulled down all those nights on the town took their toll havent they? Got rock and roll in your veins
When they’re all collapsed the dream starts to fade
All those years on fast forward
All those nights stuck to the sheets
All those early mornings when the birds are enemies
cut out the things holding you back
See the bigger picture here this isn’t it
(THIS ISNT IT)
Had the world in the palm of your hand but you traded it all for 80 dollar bags
Ground Down Canines
At some point in my life I became one of the old heads at the hardcore shows. I guess 30 is considered old to many of these little pricks (lol) but I’m closer to 40 which is fucking wild. I know every punk that makes it here is like “I never thought I’d make it to 40”, but real talk I never did, I probably shouldn’t have (see the notes on Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard, lol). Ground Down Canines is a song about growing older. Becoming responsible and accepting that you’re not a kid anymore. It’s honestly a hard thing to accept and I feel like there aren’t enough older folks with punk rock backgrounds talking about it. After-all, time is not on our side. It’s a coming of age song, a right of passage. Honestly, I’m not even bummed about it anymore. I feel great and I’ve let a lot of those youthful insecurities go which is so freeing. There’s still plenty to be upset about in this world and I’ll never run out of material but I’m through those years grinding my teeth over nonsense.
USED TO BE READY FOR WAR NOW IM READY FOR SLEEP.
One day you wake up
And just like that half your lifes passed
Where does all that time go
So busy working You’ll never fully know
Not me I wanna be somebody
I want my name connected to something great .
If I was just less busy I could focus on the things that truly make me happy
Never thought it would happen to me
Forgot my dream to support a family.
I’ve only ever known hard work after all Running out of gas how will you keep the fire lit?
It’s a balancing act with the weight of the world slowly crushing your back
And no matter the gain it’ll never be enough
Goddamn the man who has it all
Couple grand in the bank and a house full of dogs
Two cars in the drive way food on a plate but the mortgage is late and the kids got a cough
Used to be ready for war
Now I’m ready for sleep
Records that have blown our doors off in 2022
The Mall – Time Vehicle Earth
I fucking love this band. Over the past decade I have really gotten into darkwave and industrial. I’ve always flirted with gothic music and new wave but I’ve become pretty
obsessed with anything that remotely sounds like this. I don’t know much about this band but it checks all my boxes. Gloomy, dancey, driving, aggro, and I have a strong suspicion these are old hxc heads. Their entire back catalog BANGS!
Shitty Neighbors – Don’t Ever Change
First and foremost I am a punk rocker before anything else. I grew up on pink and I’ll listen it to punk till the day thst I expire. I love this band and not enough people are onto them. This is grade A punk rock played by lifers from Toledo Ohio. Top tier witty writing and harmonies yelled at the top of your lungs. Truly, some of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of playing with. My old band did some touring with Shitty Neighbors and we’ll be friends forever. Plus! This release was pressed on a wonky ass lopsided 10” solely because it looked funny. Add this to your collection, I promise you won’t regret it.
Mindforce – New Lords
I’ve gotta come clean. I was never really the biggest fan of this band until this record and now I’m obsessed. Our guitar player Dave rides hard for Mindforce and got me hip. I’ve never been the biggest metal tinged hardcore guy but goddamn these riffs are flawless. I love the vocals too. Having a higher register myself I heavily fuck with higher ranged hxc. This band is simply unstoppable and I feel like a dumb jerk for recently getting into them.
Viagra Boys – Caveworld
Man, where do I start with this record. Genius, just goddamn genius. Love this band, love literally everything they’ve ever done. This is The Stooges with maximum jokes to me. This singer is something else and if you’re not hip you must be living in a cave or from caveworld or something. They crush live , seen them multiple times this year and I just dance the entire time and sing every lyric while the singer pours white claws all over his supple body.
Soft Kill – Canary Yellow
This record is a heartbreaking work in staggering genius. This dude writes the tracks that just sink into me and I cannot get enough. I’ve had a pretty crazy life but Tobias the singer has lived a truly insane life. Incarceration, addiction, gang life, it’s all here. They’re marketing geniuses and have the best merch in the game too. I’m lucky to have befriended some of these dudes and appreciate them and their music dearly.
Berthold City – When Words are Not Enough
Perfect hardcore in my opinion. OG lifers putting out no frills pure gas moshers. Righteous lyrics, blistering speed, short tracks, gang vocals, there is nothing wrong here. This is a perfect example of hardcore that got me into the genre back in the day. Andrew Kline (vocals) is a great dude and someone I’ve always appreciated and looked up to. I really can’t express how happy we are to be on War Records alongside Berthold City. Fingers crossed we’ll get to rip some gigs together this year. Put this record on and mosh your bedroom to dust!
Excide – Deliberate Revolver
Such an interesting and unique record. Snapcase/ Refused worship riffs with Alice In Chains/ Orange 9mm vocal patterns. Say whaaaaat?
Playing with this band in January and cannot wait. This band is ahead of the pack, and I’m here for the originality.
Long Knife – Curb Stomp Earth
Punk as fuck. I think I hear organ on this record and that makes me heart smile. I wish there were more organ driven punk bands, reminds me of Murder City Devils. This band rips, I know nothing about them but highly recommend checking them out. I hope they come through Cleveland I’ll be there in a leather jacket, fist in the air through their entire set.
Black Fucking Cancer – Procreate Inverse
I went through a big black metal phase a few years ago and once in awhile a record like this will seep into my regular rotation. This shit is evil as it gets. Not a metal guy unless it’s played dark as possible and relentlessly fast.
Yambag – Strength in Nightmares
Probably the best band in Cleveland. Blistering fast. pissed as it gets punk fueled hxc. Crusty, snarky… everything that I love. I love the vocals in this band and my brain cannot process how precise the drummer can play at these speeds. This is blast beat city and a must spin.