The best art, music, cinema and other mediums forsake commerce for commerce's sake, delve deep to forge real connection between artist and audience and explore the balance between accessibility and integrity. Opening up a kinetic dialogue with each note, filled with big melodies, intense energy and truly passionate depth of feeling, comes Our Last Night and their defining work, The Age of Ignorance.
Our Last Night has perfected the mixture of melody and might. Not content to rest on the laurels of scene ornamentation or status quo presentation, Our Last Night have worked hard to capture the spirit of song-craft that drove their initial inspiration to get themselves on the road. The Age of Ignorancesprings forward with the radio-ready-meets-fist-shaking bombast of Rise Against, the earnest power of Taking Back Sunday, the immediate urgency of Underoath and the instantly memorable catchiness of New Found Glory.
The heavy power cherished by Our Last Night supporters who discovered them on The Ghost Among Us (2008) and We Will All Evolve (2010) remains throughout this new set of songs while the band progresses forward with new bravery into increasingly broadminded territory.
Lead vocalist Trevor Wentworth has developed a set of pipes worthy of his brother, Matt, the band's principal songwriter who previously handled the clean vocals by himself. The brotherly duo are in their finest form yet on The Age Of Ignorance, powering forward with confident, exuberant and empowering vocals that soar and soar.
Guitarist Colin Perry, bassist Alex "Woody" Woodrow and drummer Tim Molloy are all in top form as well as Our Last Night weave songs together that twist and turn in only the smartest and most sensible of ways. These aren't random riffs thrown together to show off with a bunch of unintelligible bellowing on top. It's quite the opposite. Our Last Night operates with deliberate, delicious purpose.
Our Last Night manages that elusive band's dream: exceeding their fan's expectations while chasing their own creative muse. And producer David Bendeth (Breaking Benjamin, Paramore, Set Your Goals), who mixed the their last album and handled all production on this one, elicited topnotch performances with his mentorship.
Tracks like "Fate" and "Liberate Me" burn with a fire to incite any crowd into dance floor pandemonium while the record alternately explores heavy duty electronics and acoustics to dazzling effect. Certainly fans of melodic post-hardcore like Saosin or Finch will find something to admire as they explore the Our Last Night catalog.
It's not often one would associate Vans Warped Tour and Linkin Park in the same sentence but Our Last Night manages to straddle that delicate line with grace and skill throughout their third album. It's not so much a shift away from their past as it is a full embracing of the strongest elements of their tried and true sound through the exploration of the furthest reaches of each extreme. The melodies are bigger and brighter than ever while the intensity level is also raised in equal measure at the same time.
So many truths are hidden from view in modern life. Government secrets, medicinal cures, the keys to sustainable living, you name it. Locked away and tightly guarded these simple but essential building blocks remain obscured. It's a time when human connection can be so hard to achieve just as it's become more important than ever. The Age Of Ignorance overall is acutely aware of this lyrically and in terms of vibe, tackling the bigger questions head-on with the title track, drawn from late nights documentary viewing. This is a heady band with vision and forethought who hearken back to the days when a lyric sheet was really worth ponder and study.
That Our Last Night hails from the somewhat culturally isolated state of New Hampshire is certainly worth noting. Not many bands have made it to a national level from their scene. They were able to interconnect with neighboring New England locales but it's still something of a minor miracle how far the quintet has come in just a few short years. One of the keys to their success has been their steadfast refusal to surrender to easy formulas or tired scene clichés.
Our Last Night puts a focus on songwriting as a craft and the resulting achievement is 36 minutes of pure expression that is The Age of Ignorance. It is as much to be heard as it is to be experienced. The band's aim is nothing short of a total connection with the crowd. When the listener truly feels something, the goal has been reached.