Swear I'm not Paul: Album Review: The Last Tycoons - Self-titled

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Album Review: The Last Tycoons - Self-titled

Need a Rolling Stones kick? Mick Jagger not getting you up any more? Why not try Dublin's the Last Tycoons? Formed from the ruins of former band Porn Trauma, The Last Tycoons are a dirty, greasy, high-spirited rock band, sure to suit your needs.

Their debut album, The Last Tycoons was released on Good Friday and features the excellent single 'The Dry Law', which NME Radio described as "great narrative tinged country pop". The description doesn't apply to the whole record, which is somewhere nearer a cross between Beggar's Banquet and the Bad Seeds' The Boatman's Call than straight-up country pop.

It's a dirty rock album, with some fantastic story-driven tunes. Single 'The Dry Law' takes place in prohibition-era America. 'Not At All' is a National-esque tune featuring Strokesian vocals. The Last Tycoons pull their influences from everywhere, meaning that the album is a wonderful melting pot of melodies. 'Speed' is the song that really evokes memories of Mick Jagger, with it's dirty riff and growling vocals.

'The Dry Law' is a old-school pedal-steel driven tune, and although selected as the lead single, it's probably the album's weak point. The lyrics are good, but it lacks the grease of the other songs. Like 'Don't Let me Catch You', the song immediately after it. It wouldn't sound out of place on Beggar's Banquet and is a song that is sure to work perfectly in a live environment. It's easy to imagine a crowd of revellers singing along to the lines "I'm gonna keep movin and get drunker than I've ever been".

Many of the songs here are instantly memorable: 'Seven Days (Off the Road)' is a really catchy song with a lovely breakdown, 'Alaska Hotel' is a lovely piano-driven ballad. 'The Love Song' is another highlight. It's a wonderful narrative-driven song, like most of the album. Overall, this is a highly accomplished debut from a tremendous new Irish talent. Definitely one to watch for the future.

Tour dates:
11 April - Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
13 April - Ruby Sessions, Doyle's, Dublin
14 April - The Village, Dublin (Haiti Charity gig)
22 April - Roisin Dubh, Galway
23 April - The Ryston, Newbridge
24 April - Flanagans, Newbridge
30 April - Electric Avenue, Waterford
12 May - GB Shaw Theatre, Carlow

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