One of the things I miss the most about the 90s is the overwhelming sense of optimism that permeated the culture at the time. There was a sense of energy that was present in every aspect of life and every genre of music; picking up “Kids You Knew” by The Late Greats immediately took me back to that time, at least on the emotional level, and with the social climate of the world reaching a fever pitch, I can’t imagine a better remedy for the dour shadow that has been cast over the collective mood of our country.
I won’t beat around the bush; this album, with the exception of the last song “Knock It Down,” has an incredible tempo. Songs like “M.I.A” and “The Night You’ll Always Remember” are very reminiscent of some of the speedier works of the Wallflowers or Third Eye Blind, which, if you’re anything like me, was exciting to say the least. To call any one specific area of this album the hallmark of the band would be a disservice to them as every song is well-crafted, from the lyrics all the way to the bassline.
There are little hints of influence all over this album for anybody that spends time listening for it, and I love that. “Walk Away,” whether it was intentional or not, has a very Subime-ish ska feel that sucks you in and keeps you there with an almost hypnotic, staccato guitar.
My favorite song, without a doubt, has to be “Lost Highway.” I’ve always had a deep appreciation for songs that tap into my love of fatalistic lyrics set to a breakneck tempo. It reminds me very much of the Voodoo Glow Dolls, which dates me more than I’d like to admit, so I’ll leave it at that.
Depending on how you look at things, there is one drawback to this album: It’s entirely too short. That, in and of itself, is a compliment because I want more. I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to their next project, and the fact that you name your own price when you buy this album certainly takes away from the sting of having the album end so early.
There are two different kinds of people who are going to go out and download this album. Those are old school rockers like me who appreciate a very 90s experience that’s laced with a little bit of old school punk, and kids who actually have a vested interest in learning about quality music. I’d highly recommend this album to just about anybody. You can find their music at http://thelategreats.bandcamp.com/ or at the group’s Facebook page, https:// www.facebook.com/thelatestgreatest.
Ryan Wasser is a fifth-year student majoring in English writings track. He can be reached at RW851045@wcupa.edu.