Last Transmission - Neon Nothingness
Album Review written by olibia
Last Transmission is back with a new band line up, as well as a second album that had been notably well received by the local music scene, Neon Nothingness. Remember how their first self titled debut album had those little pockets of musical secrets that fascinated and surprised? Well, here it is again, a breakdown of what could be the progression of from where they left off in their previous album.
Ghost in the Machine
Neon Nothingness had been decided to be allowed an intro to the album with largely the sounds of the play with keys. Also, Ghost in the Machine is entirely instrumental. The composition of all guitars, drums and keys were put together created a feel of grandeur and the arrival of the majestic. Always smart like that for an introduction to an album, but it had been unfortunately short. In here, the differences that put apart the previous album and Neon Nothingness can be clearly heard.
Out of Friends
The first thought to hit was how the vocals now sound like they have a new strength to them. Comparing what was in their debut album, the vocalist sure now sound like she had done a whole lot of work on her chords. Out of Friends has a much quirkier beat to it. Even the short introduction to before vocals come in had not been let off – both guitar parts had been written to impress and keep with the beat at the same time. Other than that, majority of the song sounds like it had been written to fit whatever singing there has been. Except when it started to end, a little guitar solo was thrown in as well. This track is relatively easy listening besides it providing a musing about the odd breaks between some parts of the song.
It bothered me some when I could not place my finger on the familiarity of this song until I realised that it could have been from Silverchair. Anyway, the song starts off once again with a quirky beat; unexpected but at the same time not over annoying abrupt transitions. The vocalist sort of sounds like she whines out the lyrics that she is supposed to sing here as there were too many ending notes that had been pulled longer than what I feel that is necessary. But then again it could be that this had been the actual intention.
Pretty vocals and lyrics to start the song off.
“I have thirty days to decide, what I’m doing with my life. I can’t be sure… under artificial light.”
Whoever would have thought of something as inspiring? The pretty introduction however progresses into an entirely different play of chords, like how why a minor and major are termed differently. That would probably throw many off and amuse the smarter ones; it is a composition different from how a stringently theory conformed one would differ from an accidental discovery of new creativity. These two day and night verses alternate for a while before Neon Nothingness comes to a bridge and that leads to yet another entirely different feel that can be described as almost confrontational, defeated, in both music and lyrics. But like how most stories will end, Neon Nothingness finishes too with a victorious end, lots of credit going to the vocals. This song could easily make it to anyone’s list of favourites.
All Broken Up and Dancing
Call it human nature but at this point of the album, there is a secret and cautious anticipation or preparation, of and for these surprise throw-offs in the music that the Last Transmission had made much use of. Much to my surprise (either way, it seems like I’m still on the losing end), All Broken Up and Dancing started off quietly with the solitary piano and then a little bass, drums. And for a moment there when the drum roll came in you’d think everything else would come crashing in as well but no, the croon of the vocalist still rings clear a bit after, all the while accompanied by the clever implementation of the keys. There is then a little break for the vocals before she comes back again after the build up created by the instruments used in this song, not crooning too much this time as the song had progressed to a heightened feel. They just had to use that element, a difference so distinct between Neon Nothingness and the first self titled album, the element that I mentioned previously that makes a minor and a major differ. The arrangement then goes back to its initial chord before the guitar that came in with the ‘let’s all release the fireworks now’ feel gradually brought to the song to an end. A xylophone-like effect was then used to complete the lull. All Broken Up and Dancing had been milder than what was reviewed so far in the album, but they still managed to arrange it in a way that it’s successfully pulled off.
You Are Defeat
The brief introduction to this song sure sounded like it. Fortunately, the composition was pulled (again) back into a different key but not for long; this song makes me think of math metal, only that each of them are now not playing with rhythm but with chords of different octaves in a single bar of music. As I had been trying to make out these jumbled feelings about the composition in the previous sentence, You Are Defeat playing in the background got completely lost, well, in the background. The effort put into the composition of guitars, the little guitar solos, bass, drums and vocals parts can be heard but the arrangement put together just does not do it for me. It is like a song where you do not know quite when or where to move to. But at least, if I were to hear this anywhere else besides my own copy of the album, I would know that it’s the sound of the Last Transmission…
Again, the croon of that pretty singing to start it all off. Before the drums came in with its cymbals to provide a very short inkling of heavy metal to follow. But of course that did not happen… a bit of effect mixing could be heard after this and the crooning took its place again. Perhaps I could be right, as the song progressed to a higher build up double pedals were heard in the arrangement. The lyrics tell of an uncertain infatuation or attraction in a particular subject. That could be the reason for having a sweet croon placed beside heavy guitars during some parts. The song comes off as almost tear jerking actually. And you can probably tell by now that here, it is mostly about the techniques used to create the different atmospheres that could be heard and felt from Undecided. It is a nice break though, after all that surprising.
This is the last track of the album (besides the two bonus ones from previous album), an entirely effect-free song, in other words, an acoustic recording of vocals and a guitar completed with the little cracks in speakers you would get and that is when you know you should buy new ones but this here creates of course nothing like that. Instead, it emphasizes this beautiful sound of rustic value that marks Magnolia. I would have to say again that the vocalist had done an excellent job of developing her vocal chords. All in all, the Last Transmission had once again managed to bow me over enough with their fresh arrangements and compositions. And alluring poetry. To say this: Please go get their album(s) now.