The Last Car in Alaska - Comfort
Record Label: None
Release Date: August 15th, 2006
Some of the best shows I've ever seen have taken place in rec centers and basements. Even if the bands aren't of the highest caliber, there's a certain amount of heart and passion that make them worthwhile. The Last Car in Alaska wouldn't be out of place at all at a show like that.
The Last Car in Alaska's songs are based in punk, with a melodic edge that works to bring the lyrics to life. While the production isn't the sharpest, there are promising guitar hooks and driving drumbeats just underneath the vocals. Throughout the album, Dan Ubilla has high and low points as a singer. He tends to be a bit flat and monotone, but occasionally manages to spit out a nice vocal hook, like with the gang vocals on "Listen: We're All Quietly Battling the Human Condition."
In spite of the spotty vocals, Ubilla's lyrics are top notch. If Fall Out Boy had put out an album between Evening Out With Your Girlfriend and Take This to Your Grave, the lyrics here would probably be very similar. Take for example, the first verse of "Starving, Hysterical, Naked":
The sun didn't fall so much as crash / And in the wake the sky was burned / An orange crisped to black / I still swear that if you squint / You can almost see all the purple hues / Dancing around in it
The band steps away from their usual tempo with the closing track, "Bethany." It's a slow acoustic ballad that is simple and heartwrenching at the same time. It shows the band's versatility and the possibilities for their future. Most of the album is like that. The pieces haven't all fallen into place yet, but there's great potential for future material, just like all those basement bands we love to watch.