Emerging from the tumultuous backdrop of Cleveland, a city recognized for its struggles and unfulfilled promises, bands like our frequent guests LAST GASP rise like a phoenix, not in spite of their environment, but because of it. Cleveland, with its history of disappointments, has inadvertently birthed a resilient spirit in its inhabitants. Those who thrive in such challenging terrains, like LAST GASP, wear their hardships not as a scar, but as a badge of honor, testament to their relentless spirit.
Cleveland’s renowned motto, “you’ve got to be tough”, isn’t just a saying for the members of LAST GASP; it’s an ethos that permeates their very existence. The journey of this band mirrors the highs and lows of the city itself. Just when it seemed that the loss of their rhythm section in 2022 might be a death blow, life had other plans. Enter drummer Tony Robinson and bassist Joe Kepich, whose inclusion not only solidified the band’s foundation but injected a fresh vigor into their sound. Add to this mix the growing influence of guitarist Dave Kuhlman in songwriting and the commanding vocals of Ryan Hardwick, and the transformation was complete.
Their upcoming LP, Who Wants to Die Tonight?, is a sonic testimony of this evolution. Housed under the banner of LA-based WAR Records, the album is a tantalizing cocktail of influences. Shades of early AFI merge seamlessly with the aggressive tones of bands like Rotting Out, Allegiance, Panic, and Right Brigade. But what sets Who Wants to Die Tonight? apart is its ability to pay homage to the past while striking a distinctly contemporary chord.
Recorded at the revered Spyder Studios with the adept engineer Ben Schiegal, whose portfolio boasts of associations with Ringworm, It Dies Today, and Machine Gun Kelly, the LP promises immaculate production quality. Furthermore, with the mixing and mastering skills of Nick Jett and the visual artistry of David Maynard gracing the album’s layout, there’s no stone left unturned. A special mention goes to Cleveland’s own Don Foose (Spudmonsters), who lends his distinctive vocal touch to the track “Seizure The Day.”
Brace yourselves, for as the world dons its Halloween costumes in 2023, LAST GASP’s Who Wants to Die Tonight? is set to pierce the night with its unparalleled sound.