There seems to be two different bands on LA Tool & Die's The Last Thorn of Summer. One is an irreverent cheeseball of sillyness that found a way to write one of the funniest send ups of our beloved Indie Rock genre in quite some time; the other is a beautiful, talented band that is part indie and part modern folk. It's a little distracting, but it seems to work out ok. The hilarious song "My Brother in Law (Won't Go To Your Show)" chronicles what happens to aging indie rockers as they get into their 30s and have ultimately lose touch with the scene in which they were once immersed. Line's like "he used to DJ college radio, but that was 13 fuckin' years ago" ring true to all of us who are getting old and unable to keep up with all the new releases (the whole reason I started this blog). This song includes references to the Silver Jews, Unicorns, Built to Spill, and I think I heard a Polvo in there along with a few others. This song alone is worth having this CD. But, it is not the only highlight. Songs like Well A Day and Ship to Shore are wonderful mid-tempo numbers. Matador has an amazing sound with an incredible new wave keyboard solo. And then...there is this voice on the album that would put any 70s Van Morrison-esque crooner to shame in both it's timbre and sincerity. The best example of this voice is on the ending track "Good Things For You". It starts off slow and builds to a thundering conclusion that makes me well up a little. This is really a great record. Maybe since I'm getting old it hits me differently than it would have when I was 20 and just wanted to rock. But, regardless, this is a fantastic effort and is worth your time.
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