Friday, May 4

Latterman: Making Sure Punk is Still Alive - By John Adams

Artist: Latterman
Album: We Are Still Alive

Comments: For a band with such silly song names, Latterman might be one of punks best kept secrets. Their most recent release, We Are Still Alive, is defiantly their best album to date.

The CD starts off with bells that explode into a monstrous bang and never looks back. “Water Manes at the Block’s End” starts with a guitar/drum intro that is reminiscent of Whippersnapper and breaks into a catchy pop-punk anthem and the reoccurring theme on the album (“searching for a home where we won’t die alone”). The next 3 songs keep the same energy and desperation that “Water Manes” started and runs right into “Dr. Sudholt and His Double Glasses”, which is almost a reprise of the introduction to “Water Manes”.

In the second half of We Are Still Alive, you can really start to hear the Jawbreaker influence. Things are slowed down a little bit, but just because things slow down doesn’t mean that Latterman lose their edge. The guitar and vocals are still sharp and the music is more challenging, but the songs have a little more poppy and feel to them. Latterman finishes the cd just as big as they started it. “Will This Be on The Test?” brings the closure that you need on this cd with a chorus of people singing “If today the ground gives in/hope we won’t fall alone.” We Are Still Alive is really is an album full of anthems that Latterman never intended to sing alone. Few punk bands still have the same sense of community and friendship that Latterman has, and is trying to rebuild in the punk scene.

Bands like this just don’t exist anymore, and weather you like the band or not it’s refreshing to hear music that makes you feel like you belong. Now this cd isn’t perfect by any means. While in places there are flashes of brilliance most of the lyrics seem a little childish and forced, and the music could probably be tighter. Another draw back people might have from Latterman is that the music sounds like it could be written by the Lawrence Arms and the vocals sound like they’ve been listening to Smoke or Fire’s “Above the City” for a little too long. Latterman is far from reinventing punk rock, but on We Are Still Alive, they’re on the cusp of breathing life back into it.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Key Tracks: Water Manes at Block’s End/ Goodmorning, Here is Jan/ and Will This Be on the Test?

Worth The Money: Most Definitely

(oh man, another 8 out of 10? We're really dealing out the feel-goods here at Left of The Dial this month. See you monday.)

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