Album review: Last Red Ransom – Snubnose

last red ransom
Atlanta based band Last Red Ransom is coming out with a new album this September. Our magazine was honored by the band request to review their new material. Before jumping in the tracks themselves let’s see what’s to know about the band.

Last Red Ransom is an industrial/glitch/rock/metal project started in 2007. Founding members are C.K.Woods (vocals, keyboard, guitar and programming), Andrew Saint Woods (vocals, keyboard, guitar and programming) and Lance Adair (drums). Later they were joined by Zakk Morrow (bass). Their debut album Sleep Well Sweet Vanity was released in 2010, then they produced a Deluxe Single titled Lanterns in 2012. Their new album Snubnose is going to come out this September. Let’s see what it has to offer!

First of all I would like to state for the record that this was the first time I heard about LRR thus I’ve never heard their first album either. I will try and listen to it as well, however I will start now with their new material.

To be honest the genre industrial is not my cup of tea. I’m not at all against it but industrial music seldom holds my attention for long. Snubnose already succeded with its first track.

The opening track The Electric Sky begins with a bit mystical keyboard theme and is joined soon by vocalist C.K.’s catchy melody. This tune comes up regularly throughout the track, even if somewhat as a background part in the refrain together with the other front member Saint’s voice for a few lines. Though the song is quite repetitive it’s a good one and is an excellent beginning for the album.

Burning Buildings is my favorite from this album. The refrain is so catchy that I found myself humming it long after listening to it. This song is dominated by Saint’s singing and I’m glad for it because he has quite a voice to show. The two singers complement each other perfectly.

Been Dead Before is the next track which begins with slow drums and electronic keyboard. After an almost half a minute long intro C.K. starts singing while clean and distorted keyboard sounds take turns very pleasurably. There is no refrain in the song, not is the traditional sense except for the repetition of the song’s title by C.K. and this is maybe all that is needed in this case. The vocal theme is built up in a nice arch and the music is getting richer in the course of the song. It’s an abstract song with a strange atmosphere – all in a positive way.

The fourth track is the aforementioned Lantern (Snubnose mix). By the time I got here I was looking for a more intense and quicker track but I really don’t know the world of industrial music so maybe the overall tempo of this album is not unusual at all. Nevertheless, this song is good as well; C.K. is playing more with her voice and opens up more in the refrain. Saint is performing well in the verse too.

Giants. We finally have a quicker tempo and richer drums especially in the refrain. The electric guitar has a bigger role too in contrast to the previous tracks where synth themes were more dominant. Vocal themes keep being quite catchy.

The Living Trust. This song mixes all the musical parts with which the previous songs operate. The refrain has tight riffs, the vocals are elongated still gripping and we got a beautiful clean keyboard theme in the bridge. Specialty of this track is that it leads to the next one, Etch with a continuous transition. This two minute long track is basically the verse of the previous one without the refrain. This is the first song on the album without electronic elements where the rock/metal direction prevails. This is a refreshing detour. I’m still in love with the clean keyboard theme.

Welcome to America. Keyboard, whoaaa! And yes, welcome Saint, you’re finally back! In the previous two-three songs only C.K. was singing. I’m not saying it was boring but Saint’s full and unique singing voice is very much needed in this music, I was missing it. This song is a somewhat slow and nice piece. On albums of different genres this is usually the place of the mandatory ballad track and those track are often the weak songs of their respective albums. Not in this case though. Welcome to America is a strong song where the various synth themes and moderate drums form a nice mixture.

The House. This is the track at which I must take note of the band’s excellent feel for changing the instruments at the perfect moment and in the perfect way so the album doesn’t become boring. This song begins with medium drums, soft strings and is joined by the guitar at the refrain – and wow! I practically cheered up loudly so good the entry of the guitar was. There are electronic elements to show but the rock/metal direction is the strongest in this song especially in the refrain.

Then we arrive at the final track One Word (Sparrow remix). It’s an adequate ending song which unites all the musical elements of the album: industrial elements, clean and distorted synth themes, guitar riffs, melodic vocals and the alternation of the two singers.

To sum it up; as I mentioned at the beginning I had not listened to Last Red Ransom’s first album yet but after this experience I will make sure to do it soon. Snubnose turned out to be a really strong album. All I missed from it is quicker tempos but the level of sophistication and the nice mixing of different stylistic elements compensate for it totally. I recommend this album to everyone wholeheartedly.